Monday, December 7, 2009


"The Time Traveler's Wife"

There's something in this film for the woman looking for a romantic experience, just as there's something for the man she'd dragged along with her. But it's not what they were expecting, not even close. She won't have a really good cry, and he won't tease her about it, instead they'll both sit quietly and UNDERSTAND the story rather than FEEL it.

She'll understand that Rachel McAdams' relationship with Eric Bana is really the secret poetry of her own experiences, men are by definition absent from so much of their women's inner lives. She will understand that Eric Bana's empty clothes and shoes are much like the wardrobes of men she has known and loved and lost to death. The experience of losing an unborn baby as shown on the screen might even make her nod in wise understanding, yes, babies do travel through time far too soon sometimes. He will see the story through a man's eyes, feeling a kinship with this husband who can never fully be everything, all the time, for his beloved wife. But neither of them will lose themselves in the story, because there's something just a little too plastic, a little too simplistic and a little too neat about this film.

Rachel McAdams is not truly convincing as an artist, she's far too calm and rational and perfectly beautiful in an unappealingly airbrushed way. Eric Bana is not truly convincing as a time-traveller, sure he's sad and serious and confused, but have you ever met a traveler (whether spatial or temporal) who looked so clean and white-washed? He needed a hat, and a scruffy beard and some attitude; just as poor little Rachel needed a halo of crazy-mad, curly red hair and a curvaceous figure and a glint of madness in her eye.

Final word: You'll walk out of the cinema desperately wishing that it had been more emotional, more moving, more romantic, but you won't go so far as to say it was a complete disappointment. There was something there, it simply wasn't enough.

P.S. I've decided that all films which are based on books should be reviewed solely on their own merit. Comparing a film to a book is akin to comparing a piece of music to a painting which was inspired by that same music - an impossible and unhelpful comparison.


Mary said...

Seems I can wait for it to come out on DVD.

And I admire you - because I can't help but compare to the book - and in this case the book is one of my all time favourites!

Anonymous said...

Check and agree!

blackbird said...

*the secret poetry of her own experiences*

This is a very good line.

fifi said...

I think they are ALL very good lines: I read this not having seen the film but having read the book, and I love the way you have reviewed this.

Wendy said...

Hi - I'm just new and I love to follow your blog now .... I may well be the *anonymous* filling your comment box until I start my own blog! I'll try not to hog it.
Love your film reviews and think they are beautifully written. Have not seen Time Traveller but I read the book and couldn't really see how a movie would gel with it. I'll wait for the DVD too having read your review. Keep them coming - its all good reading!

The Crow said...

Having seen the movie, but not read the book, I couldn't compare them. Having seen the movie, I find your review right on the money.