Movie: ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’
On DVD: Feb. 9, 2010
Director: Robert Schwentke
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, brief disturbing images, nudity and sexuality
Buy It: on DVD or Blu-ray
I usually don’t go for sappy romantic dramas a la ‘The Notebook,’ and that’s sort of what ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ is like. But I have to say, I got involved in the story and had to see how it ended.
Based on a novel by Audrey Niffenegger, the movie follows a Chicago librarian named Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) who has a rare gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel. As you might imagine, this causes all sorts of problems for both himself and the woman in his life, Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams).
Somehow, though, amidst the time traveling, the two manage to get married and even conceive a child. Clare gets annoyed by the time jumping, but feels that they’re destined to be together, so she puts up with it. Seriously, it’s hard enough sticking with one person for your entire life; the rest of us have it easy compared to this couple.
More after the jump…
Since Henry can’t control when he travels, it happens at the most awkward and inappropriate moments, like right before they’re about to be married, for example. And since his clothes don’t travel with him, he ends up naked wherever he lands, which gets interesting.
Also awkward is the fact that when he returns, it’s sometimes an older or younger version of himself. It’s not that big a deal to Clare, since she gets the whole time travel thing, but others unaware of his condition are flummoxed when he suddenly turns up with gray hair.
All sorts of questions came up while I was watching this movie. A few times, Henry and his time-traveling self turn up in the same place at the same time. How does this happen? I have no idea. And if that’s the case, wouldn’t his life go on into infinity, even after his eventual death? Because there’s probably a younger version of himself out there traveling around.
Also, if it’s a younger self, then he wouldn’t have the same memories as an older self. There’s one instance where this happens, although he looks old enough to have known Clare by then; in fact, we KNOW he knows Clare, although it appears that he doesn’t. And we never really see him come back as a young child, and why not? These questions aren’t really answered.
‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ reminds me a lot of ‘Journeyman,’ the short-lived 2007 TV series starring Kevin McKidd as a time traveler who journeys through time helping people in need. Since Niffenegger’s novel was written in 2003, I wonder if the TV series riffed off the novel.
In some ways, McAdams has become synonymous with these kinds of movies (she starred in ‘The Notebook,’ as well), so I sort of groan when I see her name attached to anything with a romantic drama bent. I know she’s done plenty of other roles, but come on, filmmakers, there are other actresses out there who can do romantic drama.
At any rate, if you’re into these sort of sappy romantic dramas, then you’ll probably like ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife. McAdams and Bana have good chemistry and make the story believable.
Images: New Line Cinema