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The Time Traveler's Wife movie poster

The Time Traveler's Wife: Movie Review

Three and a half stars
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Robert Schwentke
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Ron Livingston, Brooklynn Proulx

Released by: Warner Bros. Pictures

In short: Romantic love strong enough to span time and space is central to this enjoyable (if far-fetched) tale of a man whose genetic anomaly causes him to constantly travel through time.
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Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

The conceit of The Time Traveler’s Wife is simple: Henry DeTamble has a problem. He’s got a genetic anomaly that causes him to constantly move through the time-space continuum, disappearing from one moment and reappearing in another one, years removed. Add to that the fact that when he time-travels he always sheds his clothes in the process, and it makes for a pretty interesting life.

The movie, based on the popular 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger, follows Henry’s life from age six on, but mostly as an adult of varying ages, all well-played by Eric Bana, who happens to look good naked at any age! As he moves through time, he meets a little girl named Clare (played by the always radiant Rachel McAdams), and thus begins a lifelong romance that is slightly cramped by the fact that he wanders in and out of her life, until they eventually marry.

Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana in The Time Traveler's Wife Brooklynn Proulx and Eric Bana in The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife is a quintessential "chick flick," but that’s not to say that no men will enjoy watching it. For while the backward-forward, time-shifting story centers around the love between Henry and Clare, the basic concept of time travel makes this Robert Schwentke-helmed flick go beyond just a sappy romance. He’s the guy that made the smart thriller Flightplan with Jodie Foster, and he’s once again crafted an eminently watchable film populated with characters that we believe in, and a plot that allows us to suspend our disbelief and just enjoy.

It certainly helps that Schwentke cast two of the most likable actors working in films today as his leads. There’s plenty of chemistry between Bana and McAdams, and even when negative sparks fly–after all, if you’re The Time Traveler’s Wife, it has to eventually get annoying that your husband is constantly disappearing–the duo makes us believe that theirs is a romance for the ages. So gather up your girlfriends and go; you’re sure to feel all warm and fuzzy by the time the lights come up.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

PKR070109 (Updated: 08/13/09AR)

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