The Time Traveler’s Wife

Year: 2009
Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin/Audrey Niffenegger
Cast: Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston

I don't care what anybody says, I liked The Lake House. I enjoyed the way it blended romance and science fiction, the film not spilling too far over the line in either genre and saving it from being either a schmaltzy mess or an overblown fantasy with ideas above its (admittedly silly) station.

So the odds were good I'd like this film as much, and the set-up and premise is indeed intriguing. Henry, (Bana) born with a genetic disorder, travels through time at random, dumped in some other period in his life for a varying amount of time with no clothes before being deposited back where he belongs.

When pretty Clare (McAdams) comes to his library workplace, she can't contain her glee even though he's never met her. As Clare explains, she knows he's the love of her life, because he's been visiting her since she was a little girl, appearing to her on his trips through time in the meadow behind her childhood home and telling her about their future together. So now, having 'caught up' with each other, the pair can start their lives together.

But with Henry disappearing at the drop of a hat (including right before their wedding, when an older version of himself stands in and causes him to miss the whole thing), life is never easy - especially when they're shocked to find a much older version of him sprawled in the hallway of their idyllic home, apparently after a shooting.

Not every narrative thread is woven into the movie well but the effects are kept to a minimum to suit the warm, languorous and romantic style. It all works apart from two fatal flaws - neither Bana nor McAdams suit their parts. Bana's good when he's doing a 'character' like Chopper, but as an average everyman he's completely without presence. And McAdams' bubbly, wide-eyed enthusiasm is just too cute and chirpy for a character that needs more emotional weight dragging her down.

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