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The Time Traveler'S Wife
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Reviewed on 2009-08-14
Received[3]  out of 4 stars
GenreDrama / Romance / Sci-Fi
Two Reviews below, first by Keith Cohen and then by Jolene Mendez.

Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams from “The Notebook” and “Wedding Crashers”) and Richard DeTamble (Eric Bana from “Star Trek”, “Munich”, “Troy” and “The Other Boleyn Girl”) could pass for any ordinary loving couple. They meet, date, marry and struggle to have a baby together.

The fly in the ointment of this Harlequin-style romance is that Richard’s DNA contains a rare genetic “anomaly” which doesn’t allow him to stay grounded for any length of time in the present.

This uncontrollable chronological impairment forces him to live a crazy patchwork existence hopscotching between the past, present and future.

German-born director Robert Schwentke (“Flightplan”) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (“Ghost”) move things along so swiftly that the audience doesn’t have time to reflect on the nonsensical lapses in logic.

This movie allows you to escape reality while tugging at your heartstrings. The mutual attraction and all-consuming passion shared by this attractive couple is so believable that you invest heavily in their characters.

The best way to stay abreast of the shifting timeline is to keep your eye on the color, length and style of the hair. The bags-fly-free rule of travel is irrelevant, because Richard is always naked when he vanishes into thin air.

He is constantly pursued by the Chicago cops building up a long rap sheet, because he engages in shoplifting, breaking & entering, picking pockets and beating up people to obtain money and clothing when he reappears in his birthday suit.

Clare has the patience of a saint dealing with Richard’s unpredictable comings and goings. She says “It’s a problem” when describing his epileptic-like dislocation seizures. The old adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” applies as Clare’s love is intensified by every succeeding episode where Richard is whisked away instantaneously by the broomstick of time. She is forced to accept the frustration resulting from the frequent separations.

This bears an eerie similarity to housewives in the 1950s and 60s whose husbands were out on the road for months at a time making careers as manufacturing representatives in the apparel industry displaying merchandise out of sample cases to local merchants. One upside of this unusual condition is that various versions of Richard can exist in the same time period so Clare can’t be accused of bigamy. The most idyllic spot in the movie is a lush green meadow where an older Richard first appears in Clare’s life when she is just six years old.

This flesh-and-blood stranger is better than any imaginary childhood playmate. Although gullible and impressionable, Claire believes him when he tells her that she will be his best friend forever and the love of his life.

This magical movie hits you in the emotional breadbasket and holds you in its enveloping grasp until its tearjerking conclusion.

The par excellence storytelling ability of novelist Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote the 2004 bestseller upon which this screen adaptation is based, is evident in every delectable flight-of-fantasy frame.

The filmmakers in this variation on the invisible man concept employ neat camera tricks and cool special effects to visually enhance this remarkably restless tale.

McAdams and Bana have an urgent and dreamy chemistry that transcends time, space and rational thinking. Bana deserves kudos for dropping his heavy Australian accent.

His perfect physique will have the ladies in the audience drooling.

McAdams skillfully uses her eyes and body language as non-verbal clues to how she is feeling.

This summertime guilty pleasure expertly blends elements from “Ghost”, “The Lake House”, “Somewhere in Time”, “Back to the Future” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as these two star-crossed lovers make the most of their time together while facing inopportune and unnatural anatomical impediments.

Review By:
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"


Review Below By:
Jolene Mendez of

2 out of 4 Stars

The Time Traveler’s Wife” is a captivating love story of how love transcends time. From the best-selling book by author Audrey Niffenegger, but don’t pay too close attention to that part as most movies do not follow dead on to the novel. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams are directed by Robert Schwentke in a solid love story that could have reached extraordinary limits, but seemed to fail early on.

A Chicago librarian Henry (Bana) suffers from a rare genetic disorder which causes him to be sent through time for unknown reasons and amounts of time. He attempts to build a stable future with a young girl Clare (Rachel McAdams) who has known him since she was a child. When the two meet in the present it is an awkward meeting as Clare knows Henry, but Henry does not even recognize Clare. Things are quickly explained, but the encounter does lessen the chemistry between the pair. Despite his attendance problem Harry and Clare grow fond of each other, eventually getting married. It’s not your typical matrimony, as Henry disappears for weeks at a time and Clare must learn to live in a lonely marriage. When Clare becomes pregnant and Henry is involved in an accident things only become more of a struggle for the love birds.

Having high expectations for a whirlwind romance, I was deceived. The love Henry and Clare shared was disgraced from the minute they met in the library. The first encounter should have been laid out better to offer more suspense and passion. Instead we are rocketed into this world Clare lives in, where they have known each other for years. Already missing the connection it was hard to follow their fairy tale romance. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams portrayals were good, as they seemed to have the chemistry flowing. “The Time Traveler’s Wife” offered more romance than Sci-Fi making it a definite chick flick, not one of the best, but seemed to have a lot of the females talking.

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