Earlier this summer, Hollywood offered us an adaptation of My Sister’s Keeper, an adaptation of a beloved piece of chick lit starring Cameron Diaz that had everyone who saw it (but me) crying like someone had kicked a puppy in the face but ultimately failed to connect with critics and a blockbusting audience.
Cut to today, which brings us another movie version of a novel aimed, mostly, at the ladies: The Time Traveler’s Wife, a Brad Pitt-executive produced adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s best-seller starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.
Early on into the movie, McAdams is shown smiling that gorgeous smile of hers, dimples for all to see and try to resist. It’s part of the reason I enjoyed the movie so much.
That, and the occasional flash of Bana’s amazing Aussie a--.
Ah yes, Bana’s amazing Aussie a-- makes a few darkly lit appearances, for he is, of course, the titular time traveler: One moment he’s there, fully dressed, and then the next he’s gone backward or forward in time, his clothes remaining as a sign that he’s left gone AWOL.
Well, there’s some logic to it: His Henry has a “genetic anomaly” that causes him to skip around through time without warning, which is troublesome, you see, since he and McAdams’ Clare always have and always will be in love.
Talk about trying to sustain a long-distance relationship, huh.
But try they do, so they marry and give the whole happily ever after thing a go. Only problem is Henry’s condition makes it quite difficult for the couple. Soon, they’re faced with questions of what to do when it comes to having a family, which makes for the most heart-wrenching sequence of the movie. (It is not easy for them, to say the least of it.)
If The Time Traveler’s Wife has anything to say, though, it is people really need to cherish the love they keep bringing into each other’s life – you never know when it’s just going to go poof! and disappear.
Timeline-wise, I didn’t think the movie was inaccessible, although I suspect keeping up with the intricacies of Lost’s exhilarating fifth season may have had something to do with that, you know…if I could keep up with that and all…. So the time travel wasn’t quite as challenging.
But that’s just me.
I did have a bit of a hard time with all the treacle, but even that grew on me. And that’s a testament to McAdams and Bana, especially her.
She makes anything and everything she’s in so much better.
She wears the melancholy of The Time Traveler’s Wife well, and makes it, well…better.
My Rating ***
Photo: New Line Cinema.