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August 14, 2009
Review - " The Time Traveler's Wife "  - (in Theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Claire and Henry meet for the first time – in Henry’s experience, anyway – at a library. Joyfully recognizing Henry, Claire
explains that while he hasn't appeared to her in awhile, she’s known him since he showed up one day when she was a child,
picnicking alone on her family estate. She courts Henry, who is a bit overwhelmed but delighted with her interest. Henry duly
notes the dates of their previous encounters, diffident and charming with the child Claire used to be. Claire has in fact loved
(or at least had an unquenchable crush on) Henry for virtually her entire life, and it doesn't take Henry long to love Claire,
either, especially as she is patient with his literal disappearances. Since each has experienced their relationship in a
different order than the other, what’s revealed and what’s unsaid is telling, though neither is sure how much of what they’re
doing is free will and how much is caused by the time loop. Since this is romance and not horror, the issue is less about the
awful things that go wrong but how one copes with a spouse who may unwillingly vanish prior to a wedding, only to have his
time-traveling older self stand in at the ceremony.

Things do take some dark turns, but they are not
the result of character stupidity, which is a relief
beyond measure in a mainstream cinematic
romance, drama, comedy, fantasy or any
combination thereof. Screenwriter has made the
characters very appealing and agreeable, and he
lets us and them consider the oddities of the story
without getting ponderous about it. Director
Robert Schwendtke sets a gentle, warm tone that
has both delicacy and intelligence. The
filmmakers score extra points for working the
scenes with the adult Henry and the child Claire
just right, so that there is no suggestion of
premature sexuality in the interactions.

Bana is very good as a mostly reactive man who
has a very good heart and McAdams is vividly
enthusiastic and passionate as Claire, who is
willing to put up with a lot to get what she’s always
wanted. Others in the strong cast include Arliss Howard as Henry’s messed-up father, Ron Livingston as a staunch friend
of the couple and Stephen Tobolowsky as a scientist who tries to help Henry from bouncing around quite so much.

At times, Eric Bana looks a little aged, but time-traveling must be awfully taxing. He's a fine Henry (his naked ass is a
supporting character, essentially), but he's sort of stuck playing catch-up next to Rachel McAdams' Clare. McAdams is
perfect. Her voice alone exudes soft, tender love with every delivery of a line, and the deep twinkle in her eyes so simply
reads: "I deserve to be loved and to be taken care of … because I'm perfect." You just want Bana to do her right and stop
being a doofus, or a creep (stop visiting six-year-old Clare!) and stop time-traveling. Because that's what McAdams

Bana, rarely a very lively actor, is well-cast as a tortured, brooding fellow. It falls on Rachel McAdams - no stranger to this
sort of thing, thanks to The Notebook - to give us someone to relate to, and her sweetly optimistic performance is just what
the film needs. McAdams alternates seamlessly between innocent, sultry and sad. The two have undeniable chemistry and
succeed in bringing this sweet and sour picture to life.

Though The Time Traveler's Wife is more about the guy than his wife, the reference to Mrs. Time Traveler in the title is
important. It's how you know it's not a science-fiction story but a romantic drama. Like many such tales, it is about a woman
who loves a man that she can never completely have, even though he loves her too. Even though it was pointed directly at
the female audience, I really enjoyed the movie. Eric Bana's Henry and Rachel McAdams's Clare have genuine feeling
chemistry when the moment is right and have that sense of awkwardness when the moment isn't. As far as a love story and
romantic movie go, it's clever and unique. It never felt really cliched or obvious, and even the tearjerker moments weren't
telegraphed a half hour ahead of time.
Time Travelers Wife - Eric bana and 9 year old Claire
Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams - Time Travelers Wife
Time Travelers Wife - movie poster
The Time Traveler Wife
Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston, Jane McLean,
Hailey McCann, Tatum McCann

I am a big fan of time travel movies, I am also a big fan of Romance
films, and a big fan of Rachel McAdams. So "The Time Traveler's Wife"
is taylor made for me. Let's face it I AM the target audience. I am
predisposed to like this film. The fact that I gave it only three stars may
tell you something. If you're not a time-travel, romance freak you
should probably avoid this movie. Make no mistake about this film. It is
a chick flick. It's a love story with science fiction elements. "The Time
Traveler's Wife" aspires to be an affecting love story and a thoughtful
fantasy. It succeeds on both counts.

One of the multiple pleasures of "The Time Traveler's Wife", the
romantic fantasy/drama adapted from Audrey Niffenegger’s novel, is
that it actually deals with the whole issue of “if I knew then what I know
now” that seems inherent in a time-travel premise. Yet it somehow
keeps getting sidelined by other plot considerations in most films. WIFE
is a kind of an anti-Butterfly Effect. The time traveler here, Henry (Eric
Bana), already knows he can’t change the past from what he knows it
to be. Neither is he closeted to his nearest and dearest about his
traveling, which is always unpredictable and involuntary – if
anybody doubts his claims, all Henry has to do is hang around until a
time-travel incident hits, at which time Henry vanishes bit by bit in front
of his astonished witness, leaving only clothes behind. (Henry always
arrives at his unplanned destinations naked, which has made him an
expert clothing thief.) The question here is whether Henry has turned
his life, and that of Claire (Rachel McAdams), into a loop.
Near the end, the movie offers one fantastical
"bright side" to having a time traveler for a
husband. as "date movies" go, it's one of the
better recent examples, with angst-filled
romance (and Eric Bana's butt) for certain
segments of the population, time-space
paradoxes (and the beautiful Rachel
McAdams) for others. And when a future
version of Henry materializes one night,
seriously wounded, then disappears again
before you can find out why (or when!) --
well, that's bound to pique anyone's interest.

This movie is sad. It's dark. It may make you
cry. And if that's the type of movie that you're
in the mood to see, go see this. If you want a
fun rom-com romp through time, rent Back to
the Future.