Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I suppose it is time to add a bit of a female perspective to this blog and luckily Jeff is in agreement. I absolutely love movies and go see them pretty regularly so I hope I can contribute, if even a little. So in this, my inaugural post, I will talk about The Time Traveler's Wife.

First, full disclosure, the closest I have come to this book is perhaps giving it a glance in a Borders, so I came into the movie with absolutely no background. The only thing I knew was that Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana were to star in it and being fans of both I was excited to see how they interacted together. I also happen to be a science fiction fan so the time traveling element intrigued me.

The story begins with the first time Henry (Eric Bana) time travels. He never is able to take clothes with him as he travels - which presents somewhat of a problem when he gets to wherever he goes. He is constantly in a state of flight, looking for clothes and then trying to blend in until the next time he travels. He seems to be pulled into big events - one of which is Clare (Rachel McAdams). The story very early sets up the history of Henry and Clare, though it is not especially clear if he met her first as a child or as a young adult (time traveling can be rather confusing). The movie has him going back and forth between seeing her as a young girl and being with her in their adult life with a little bit of him traveling to random places in between.

I happen to like a good romantic comedy but I'm not quite sure this one hit the mark. Most of the movie Henry and Clare don't seem happy and there are few truly romantic/happy spots. I also was distracted by the time traveling aspect quite a bit. For one thing, I don't know if they age Henry enough. I went with a friend and she didn't realize that he was traveling from the future to the present at some points because Eric Bana had little more than some grey spots in his hair to show he had aged. I also didn't see the point to the random spots he visited. Most times these random travels showed little more than him running away with stolen clothes. Maybe it's that way in the book and I am being too harsh - but I probably could have done without those scenes.

I did really enjoy the performance of Ron Livingston who played Gomez, the friend to both Henry and Clare. He was funny in scenes that needed some humor but also played sensitive when it was called for. I haven't seen a lot of him since Office Space and so he was a nice surprise.

Performance wise I thought Rachel did a really good job. I think she is one of the few actresses who manages to not over act in intense scenes. There is one scene in particular when Clare and Henry are in a fight and she manages to make it more true to life than movie dramatic. I appreciate that. Eric Bana, I was a little bit less impressed with. I've seen a lot of him this summer with Star Trek and Funny People and I've got to say, I don't know that this type of movie is his bag. I think he was a bad reactor, if that makes any sense. He is not good in a reaction shot, especially to big news.

Random fact for music fans: Broken Social Scene makes a cameo as the wedding band.

The song they choose to perform in the movie is weird if not comical but a decent band nevertheless.

I think my favorite part of the movie was the end and that's not to say that I was only happy when it was over. I thought the final scene was touching and maybe the most heartfelt part of the movie. Seeing the film, did spark my interest in reading the book, but I'm not sure I would see the movie again.

Grade: 2 buckets

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