Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife: Review

Last night I went with some girlfriends to see The Time Traveler's Wife. To be honest, this wasn't a movie on my must see list, but I thought it would be kind of cute. Also I am a big Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana fan and I hadn't seen my Bronwyn in a while. The flick was sold out at Tinseltown - which is my fave place in Vancity to see a movie - reclining seat's ya'll. I was armed with my Kleenex as everyone had told me that it was going to be quite the sobfest.

The Time Traveler's Wife is based on the beloved and best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger about a love that transcends time. Clare (Rachel McAdams) has been in love with Henry (Eric Bana) her entire life. She believes they are destined to be together, even though she never knows when they will be separated: Henry is a time traveler -- cursed with a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to live his life on a shifting timeline, skipping back and forth through his lifespan with no control. Despite the fact that Henry’s travels force them apart with no warning, Clare desperately tries to build a life with her one true love.

I was the only one in our group of 5 that had yet to read the book, which will clearly cloud my opinion of the movie. It is always difficult to translate a book for the big screen. And to bring a complicated story like this to life effectively is even harder. Certain things felt glossed over - like why Clare fell in love with Henry in the first place. It never really rang true as to why they had a love that would literally last through the ages. There was very little focus on the development of their relationship. They pretty much f*cked the first time they met (well the first time he met her - she had known an older version of him since she was a child). See - very complicated.
It is a very confusing premise. I am quite happy to suspend disbelief for a few hours but at certain points in this movie I found myself thinking WTF? And I really don't think that is the message the film makers wanted to deliver in this love story for the ages. Just one example of WTF? After Henry rigs the lotto and make his wife a multi-millionaire, why does he force the two of them to look at a ton of new houses? He has been to the future, seen the house. Doesn't he at the very least know the area they lived in?

Both leads did a great job with the material they were given. Eric played the tortured Henry with a depth that impressed me and once he got his hair cut, he looked great - the long flowing locks are not a good look for this Aussie boy! His confusion and despair of his condition felt real to me. And he was nekkid for quite a bit of the movie, which is always a good thing ;) One downside to his performance was his accent as I found his American accent it a little forced and unnatural. As always Rachel McAdams looked luminous and beautiful. She is stunning. Her portrayal of the artist Claire was natural and believable in the earlier stages of the movie, but later on I was not convinced at her anger and frustration with their unique situation. I also had trouble with her character being a mother to a 10 year old. But, the very beginning of her relationship, when she "meets" and shags Henry in the same night - that was awesome. The look in her eyes when she is standing in his apartment - it is totally one of those "shut up and f*ck me" looks. Haven't we all been there?

When 30 something Henry first meets 6 year old Claire in the meadow, it actually felt kind of creepy to me. I know that there was nothing sexual in the meeting, but knowing that they would fall in love seemed kinda gross. And then when Claire is jealous of Henry's wife (which is herself, but she doesn't know that), it is just weird.

Okay overall I didn't hate it. But I didn't love it either. It was alright. It was romantic and a little weepy. The little girls who played Clare at 6 and both Alba's (their daughter who is also a time-traveler) were solid, as were both leads and Ron Livingston as Henry and Clare's friend. But I found the premise of the movie very convoluted and not very well explained. I was also not convinced of the chemistry between Bana and McAdams. But truth be told, that is most likely me and has nothing to do with their performances. I have been watching the MTV awards kiss repeatedly over the past few days so I feel like Rachel is cheating on her boyfriend anytime she kisses someone other than Ryan Gosling. Weird I know.
Rachel and Eric have been out doing tons of press for this movie. My favourite interview was Rachel on Thursday nights Daily Show with Jon Stewart (one of the best show on TV). Click below to watch the episode. Or if you just want the interview and are in Canadialand, click on the link below for that part of the episode. She was so adorable and Jon was awesome as always.

Off to get organised for Kings of Leon tonight. Ack! So excited. Wish me Caleb friends :)


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