The Time Traveler's Wife (PG-13) - 2009 - Runtime: 107 minutes
Starring: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams
Director: Robert Schwentke
I did not read the best-selling book that this movie is based on. Maggie did and enjoyed it from what I gather, but it took her ten times longer to get through it than a book of similar length - so that's saying something as to the storytelling of this particular tale. I really like the idea of following the story of a very extraordinary man's life through the eyes of his wife. It's an interesting perspective of science fiction that doesn't often get enough treatment. I knew the story wouldn't be stepping into any science fiction territory - this is a straight up romance movie. But I feel like the movie could have been so much better if they had explained things more about the hows and whys of this particular malady befallen on Henry (Eric Bana) because half the time I was confused and disoriented as to which Henry was which (young, older or middle aged?) and what exactly was happening.
So the title pretty much sums up the story of the movie: it's told through the perspective of the time traveler's wife - the ups and downs of their relationship. And it sucked. Big time. It should have been called The Time Traveler's Butt Cheeks because that was the most interesting part of the movie (who doesn't like well-toned butt cheeks?). My biggest problem with the movie? I felt absolutely no connection to the characters nor their supposed romance. It felt like I was just watching scenes of them interact together and not really fall in love. In fact, to show you what a cold, heartless bastard I am, I laughed the whole time he was dying! It was so funny! And if that spoiled the movie for you, well, frankly, I'm not sorry. It's a terrible movie and you know he's going to die pretty much from the beginning of the movie. Aside from the zero chemistry - there was a lot of creepiness going on. The older Henry meets up with Clare when she's a little girl. And it's a bit creepy because he travels naked (a time-traveling requisite established by The Terminator). There's a few more awkward scenes like this that don't really feel romantic. They just seem out of place.
I mentioned earlier how it would have been better if there was some more 'splainin' goin' on. And it's true because you don't know why he time travels except it's in his DNA. So what the hell? Were his parent's time travelers? No. Grandparents? Don't know. Is he the only person? Possibly. But then, why? The list of questions goes on and on and my itching science fiction brain needed answers to a few of those questions. Plus, I was so confused as to which age Henry was in each scene. He had gray hairs when he was older and that's about it. Otherwise you're at a loss as to what age he is when he pops in and out of Clare's life. Which is another problem - there's too much popping in and out that you cannot properly follow Henry's own time line of growing up. Oh, and they totally should have utilized Benjamin Button's aging effects because Rachel McAdams trying to look 18 was a huge laugher. Plus it was an extremely creepy (yes - it bears repeating).
When I first heard about the book I thought it sounded cool. My idea was that time traveling was a profession or something (boy I was way off on that one) and in my head sounded way more technical than "My genes make me travel naked through time!" I might have been getting it confused with that 90s movie, The Astronaut's Wife, which I never did see (and which is a completely different movie according to imdb.com). No matter what, it's a huge mess of a movie that should have just stayed on the bookshelf.
Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!