Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE
DIRECTED BY: ROBERT SCHWENTKE
WRITTEN BY: BRUCE JOEL RUBIN
NOVEL BY: AUDREY NIFFENEGGER
OVERALL SCORE: 6.25/10


Chicago librarian, Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) as an odd genetic condition: at random times, triggered by various things, he jumps through time. Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams) has been in love with Henry since she first met him as a child, when he was a much older adult. As their first meeting comes very difficult, can they make such a complicated relationship work?

Sometimes you watch a movie, and while it's perfectly fine, you can't help but feel as if it would be far more developed in its original novel form. The Time Traveler's Wife is perfectly fine in and of itself, and it ranges between drama, romance, and comedy, but at times it feels a bit underwhelming, and illexplained. You see Time Traveler's Wife is, for the most part, told from the point of view of Henry, and his time line (except when needed to develop a character or move a plot point along for scene purposes). Still I never found the film difficult to follow, and I quickly bought into its notion of time.

Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams are by no means amazing, but their natural charisma, and chemistry, really works in developing this romance. This is critical as we come in at two very different points in their romance. For Bana our first encounter, is his first encounter, and we see his confusion over this girl, who has known him her entire life, being so excited to see him. The supporting cast are perfectly fine, but aren't asked to deliver a whole lot of emotion. Overall the story does take some adjustment, as well as time to get to know their relationship, and the story's way of dealing with time travel.

If there's one thing I often find to be most people's constant complaint is that the film's perception of time travel, doesn't match their perception (similar to what happened in Star Trek). And since nobody's yet to prove anything time travel related, it's sort of like arguing who has the better wormhole in their basement... just stop your grumping already.

Overall though, Time Traveler's Wife is really nothing special. It works because it does everything just fine, and carries the interesting, and story from start to finish. It's executed well, and works within its own confines. It never tries to be anything more. It never tries to be something massive. It simply intends to be a love story, about two individuals torn apart by a complicated issue. There's a few things I could note that would have been better, had they done them differently, but overall I feel as if it executes its romance perfectly well enough to be worth a recommendation.

While it's by no means a perfect film, The Time Traveler's Wife works despite its flaws, because of a captivating story, and two charismatic (not to mention easy on the eyes) leads.

6 better thoughts:

Candice Frederick said...

i kinda hated this film. it was just dull to me. but the more i think about it, and the more reviews i read, maybe i'm being too harsh. but i just thought it was too unrealistic to even imagine. i dunno..

Univarn said...

@Candice I can see that. I found a lot I didn't like, but never enough to feel negative about it. Granted I'm really into films that discuss time travel, so I found it intriguing how this film handled it.

Castor said...

Excellent review. This is a likable movie that could have been so much more with better direction and bolder decision-making regarding the screenplay. I think keeping the same narrative structure as the book really hindered the movie.

TheAnswerMVP2001 said...

We pretty much agree on this one. This was one of the few films I shelled out money to see in the theaters last year, and I only did that because McAdams was in it. I was pleased with her performance for the most part, but overall it's an average romance with a science fiction twist.

Chase Kahn said...

This was simply a listless, flat-lined romance. It's slightly disorienting but mostly just completely and utterly forgettable.

The film doesn't fail miserably because it doesn't really try anything - it just sort of flatly exists.

Ginger said...

I found the movie enjoyable and the company I watched it with made it fun too :p
I also enjoy time travel movies and it was an interesting twist to a romance. I think I'd like reading the book

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