Monday, August 24, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife - Mini-review

I saw The Time Traveler's Wife a week ago with a group of mostly women. We had all read the book, most of us years ago when it first came out, but a couple had just finished the book in the last month. So, I can't review this movie from the point of view of someone unfamiliar with the story. I knew what was going to happen, and those parts of the film that may have been confusing to someone who hadn't read it, I mentally filled in from my knowledge of the book.

As an adaptation, I think it works very well. It's a 500 plus page book, so yes, there are parts left out. Gone are some of the very harsh things that happen to Henry when he time travels. The problem is that he arrives naked, and he never knows what year it is. Some readers quibbled with other scenes left out, but you can't have everything included in an adaptation. The movie has the spirit of the book, to be sure.

The focus here is on the romance between Henry and Clare. Henry first visits Clare when she is only six, speaking to her from behind a bush and begging for her picnic blanket. Important events are like gravity to Henry, and he travels in time to Clare often.

In all, the movie has the feel of the film The Notebook, also starring Rachel McAdams. Something sad does happen in the end for these true lovers, and they have their difficulties in their relationship as Henry disappears for sometimes days on end. He vanishes on their wedding day, but is saved by an older grayer Henry.

It's a satisfying romance, and fun for debate with all the time travel paradoxes. The time travel rules are quite different than many sci-fi books. Our group also debated after the movie whether Clare ever had a choice, or it was simply destiny.

I give Time Traveler's wife three stars. Definitely worth a rental at least, but I recommend reading the book more (you can just picture Eric Bana naked in your head!)

Curiously, I just read that a TV drama series is being developed for The Time Traveler's Wife for ABC by the creator of Friends. That should be interesting!

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