The Time Traveler's Wife In Review
Are you a sappy romantic who enjoyed The Notebook? Do you dream of traveling through time? Could you be in need of a good cry? If so The Time Traveler’s Wife is the movie for you.
Based on the novel of the same name by Audrey Niffenegger (screenplay written jointly by Jeremy Leven and Bruce Joel Rubin), The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the story of a couple who must learn to cope with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. You see Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel at random and at the most inconvenient times. Though it is a gift that allowed him to survive a childhood car accident that claimed the life of his mother, it is mostly a curse. During one of his early travels, he meets a young girl named Clare Abshire who will one day be his wife. However, as he has yet to travel to their first meeting when they first meet as adults, he is confused when a twenty-something Clare (Rachel McAdams) greets him lovingly. As decided during a travel years earlier, Clare and Henry must meet for dinner to discuss his travels and the information he has given her during them for her to share with him now. For a short time, Henry ceases to travel which allows for the couple to build a relationship and plan for the future. Yet, when Henry is absent/traveling for much of their wedding day, it becomes clear to Clare that a happy marriage may not be in store for her. Can Henry and Clare’s marriage prosper despite their involuntary separations? Will they ever find out why Clare keeps miscarrying? Is there a cure for Henry’s disorder? If you care to know the answers to these questions you must fill your pockets with tissues, see the movie and find out for yourself!
Reading early reviews for The Time Traveler’s Wife, I was admittedly hesitant to see it. The biggest complaint that critics seem to have with the movie is that it is confusing. As you would expect from a movie about time travel, the story jumps around a lot. In fact, it jumps so often that I was unsure at a couple of points which Henry I was looking at. Henry only travels to dates of personal importance (The day his mom died. The day he first met Clare. The day he married Clare. Etc.) which proves to be a very disjointed way to tell about one’s life. This aside, it is still a nice movie. Under the guidance of director Robert Schwentke, Bana and McAdams shine. They have terrific chemistry which allows you to genuinely root for their characters’ happiness.
As with many of the movies that have come out recently, The Time Traveler’s Wife is a film that proves to remind you that life is unpredictable and all too short which makes (or should at least) all relationships more meaningful and love more sacred. Henry has the luxury of seeing people from the past (his deceased mother for example) and being able to spend precious moments with them. Yet, he can’t change any events nor can he remain with these people for an extended period of time. It is maddening to him just as it would be for us. Furthermore, he is unable to reveal his identity to anyone from the past which makes things more painful. In the case of his mother who only knew Henry as a child, she believes him to be a stranger whenever she encounters him. Though he yearns to tell her his secret, bound by his self-made rules involving his disorder, he must keep her out of the loop. Having lost my father at a time when I was too young to realize his significance, I envied Henry’s opportunity to see his mother and garner indirect advice from her. Since his death, I have often wished I could go back in time and speak with him. Yet, knowing I would be unable to follow Henry’s rules, I believe myself lucky that I probably will never be given the opportunity to time travel. Though it is a hypothetical situation, would you be able to follow Henry’s rules if you were given the chance to travel for a moment to meet with someone you have lost? I know few people who could.
In short, The Time Traveler’s Wife is a sappy, romantic movie that may have you scratching your head in confusion. As stated, the story jumps around quite a bit and even if you’re paying very close attention you may still get lost. Nevertheless it is still worth a look, but one that can wait until it’s available to rent. In the comfort of your own home with the dvd remote in your hand you may get a lot more out of this movie than you would listening to the guy behind you repeatedly say, “Huh?”
More by this Author
Back in 2002, when I first heard the rumors that the Kander and Ebb's musical "Chicago" was being made into a movie, my theatre friends asked me what I thought of this. Did I like that a successful Broadway...
My analysis of Seraphina Delle Rose in Tennessee William's Play "The Rose Tattoo"
Read the text of Charlotte Bronte's poem about the death of her sister, as well as an analysis.