Thursday, August 13, 2009

Movie Review: Do Time Travel and Romance Mix?

The Time Traveler's Wife

Full disclosure: I am a huge time travel fan. I cannot get enough of it. Even on tv, where Lost is my favorite current show -- and where I still mourn the absence of the short-lived Journeyman. But I never did read the novel of the same name in which this film is based. Maybe because I am not a huge fan of romance. And therein lies my dilemma. Is it really possible for time travel and romance to mix? I still recall enjoying the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time -- it wasn't a great movie, but it was an interesting concept. Well now travel if you will nearly 30 years later to this generation's version of love complicated by one partner's inability to control skipping through time. And again, it's not a great movie -- but it's still enjoyable.

Directed by Robert Schwentke (Flightplan), the fantasy drama stars Rachel McAdams in the title role. It's smart casting for romance fans -- as McAdams was also the female lead in arguably the most popular book-to-film romance this decade, The Notebook. She plays Clare, an artist, who has been in love with Henry (Eric Bana) ever since she was a little girl. Even though he was then an adult and she much younger, she always believed they were destined to be together. Problem is, she never knows when they will be separated and for how long since Henry, a librarian, is a time traveler -- cursed with a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to live his life on a shifting timeline.

Finally meeting at a time when they are about the same age, Henry and Clare try desperately to build a life together. But jumping back and forth through his lifespan with no control or warning sure complicates things. Can then find a cure for his rare genetic disorder in time to salvage a relationship? Or will they be doomed to spend their complicated lives apart? The appeal of Bana (Funny People, Star Trek) and McAdams helped keep my interest as we find out. There definitely are some scratch-your-head moments as time travel often does lead to confusion. And some of the plot sinks into downright silliness. But it's definitely worth a look, romance fans. Oh -- and for you time travel fans with a soft spot, too. Also stars Arliss Howard and Ron Livingston. [Rated PG-13; opens tomorrow]

Grade: B

  • Click here for an alphabetical archive of all movie reviews.


  1. I'm excited about this movie! Bawled my eyes out reading the book (yes, typical girl). Hope the movie does not disappoint TOO much, as did My Sister's Keeper.

  2. This movie sounds interesting it sounds like another movie on DVD that I saw along the lines of something close to this, it was called Frequency starring Dennis Quaid. Check out that movie and let me know what you thought of it and check my blog out for swagbucks