The Time Traveler’s Wife – The poor woman!

My wife suggested we see The Time Traveler’s Wife last night and so we had a late date night. The movie was slow at first but once it got going, I found it to be touching and human. It brought up a lot of things to talk about on the ride home. The Time Traveler’s Wife (TTTW) is a romantic drama starring Eric Bana as the Time Traveler, Henry DeTamble, and Rachel McAdams as his wife, Clare Abshire. It was directed by Robert Schwentke. He has directed a proud set of films the most famous of them being “Flight Plan” with Jodie Foster. There are other cast actors of note you can find at The Time Traveler’s Wife IMDB page. Minor spoilers ahead.

Now for my DVD review: Henry “travels.” His wife might as well have a bumper sticker that says “travel happens.” They don’t have any idea why he does or when it will happen. This makes for a lot of stress in both their lives as they try and have a normal marriage and baby while he is “beaming up” all the time to certain locations.

One place he travels repeatedly is the meadow where he first met his eventual wife Claire. She was a 9 year old wandering off in search of imaginary friends. He knows what to tell her so she isn’t afraid because he is with her in the future. Theirs is a rocky relationship with some seductive kissing but far more moments of distrust, acute fear, and resentment. At one point he says to her, “You made a choice.” to which she replies indignantly, “I NEVER had a choice.” In a way I think that’s true because when someone comes from the future claiming to know all your desires, and you’re 9, it’s probably quite hard to resist that fantasy. In this case, the fantasy was all too real.

You see all the token time travel issues come up here. There is talk of how you cannot change certain things. There is foreshadowing of his death before it happens. There are some interesting twists that can only be possible when you have a time travel theme. The basic crux of the movie is Claire’s growth. She herself “travels” mentally from a 9 year old girl in love with a man who visits her in the meadow to a 30-something woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown married to a “spontaneous” time traveler. There are times he is in the room one minute and then there is nothing but his clothes collapsed on his shoes. Imagine going through a marriage that way?

Her undying love for him is what’s worth watching. Bana is a little bland in my opinion. I think just about anyone could play his role. Rachel McAdams, on the other hand, is perfectly suited for the role. As I watched I was impressed by the emotion she could summon in many of the scenes. I have a feeling when you see her cry, those are HER tears. I wouldn’t say her performance is Oscar worthy but it comes close, darn close. Part of the problem might be the writing. While much of it was poetic, there was a lot of the same stuff between man and woman we’ve seen again and again. Like I said though, once the uneventful beginning is through, the middle to end is a wonderful, sometimes difficult, always romantic human love story.

I haven’t fought back a tear since “Meet Joe Black” played in the theater. This one had that effect on me. I’d say this movie is mostly for married people in their late 20’s and up. Some of this stuff I have lived through and the time travel aspect really allows the movie to delve into relationships and love and purpose in life. I’d give it 8/10. Have you seen it? Care to comment on any of these topics I’ve mentioned? Please do comment below.

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