Film Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

I've heard about the book that this movie was based on about 4-5 years ago or so. One of my friends (from a while back...unfortunately, we lost contact...) have mentioned reading this and saying to me that she loved the book and was hoping this will be adapted into the big screen someday, like a lot of other books that were transformed and adapted to the big screen. I didn't know much about the book nor did I even care to read it back then. So, I forgot about this till recently when I heard one of my favorite actresses, Rachel McAdams is doing this film with Eric Bana (or rather has already finished filming this movie) based on the 2003 best-selling novel, The Time Traveler's Wife written by Audrey Niffenneger. It brought me back to the thought I had remembered hearing about this book from a friend for the first time a few years back. I contemplated on reading this as I've been in a mood in reading books lately. I mean, I did read and finished Julie & Julia by Julie Powell just before the movie of the same name was about to be released, which I had seen after reading the book (check out and read my Film Review: Julie & Julia) ... But on this one, I wasn't sure if I would read the book first or watch the movie. I was thinking, maybe I should do something different. I thought I'll just watch the movie first and if I like it, maybe I'll read the book. Usually, I'll like the adapted anyway, whether I've read the book first or after it. So, I decided, I'll just watch it first, so I can be surprised and not know what to expect or what will happen next. But then, one of my friends (from the present, of course) told me that she just started reading this book and is telling me that she's loving it a lot. I never expected her to be reading this book (of all the people I know, lol), but we both love to read books and I have her to thank for introducing me to the Twilight series (though she couldn't persuade me to read the HP series if she tries and begs, let alone watch the series of movies, lol. HP is just not my kind of books/movies to read/watch...I don't know why, but that's just me).

Anyway, it made me want to read the book as I wait for the movie to be released, which was just a week away prior to its theatrical release date (August 14th). So, when I bought my copy of the book, I started reading it as soon as I got it in my hand and just a couple pages into it, It already caught my attention and was already mesmerized and so into reading it. I can't believe I've never read this book a long time ago (likewise with Shopaholic series...I was so late into reading them that I didn't get to read them until after I saw the movie version based on the first 2-3 books).

The Time Traveler's Wife
, I must say, was an amazing book. I loved and enjoyed reading it from the first page to the last. Though I've read this book kinda slow (usually when I love a book, I finished them fast like the Twilight and Shopaholic series... and those were series ... to name a few...), but I've been busy with a lot of things that I decided to just read it slow and enjoy every moment. At first, I wanted to see the movie too at the same time, while I'm still reading or even if I haven't finished I already pictured Rachel McAdams as Clare and Eric Bana (kinda) as Henry while reading...I wanna see these two enduring, destined to be true lovers and soul mates characters from the book come to life in these two wonderful actors on the big screen already, lol. But I decided to wait and first finished reading the book as I couldn't put it down. Glad I did and last night my girlfriends and I went to see this movie (almost a week after its theatrical release) and we all loved and enjoyed watching this movie...

Ok, enough about my rambling here. I think you'd rather read my review, lol.

Here's my review for this film ...

[Warning! ... for those who haven't seen this movie and don't want to be spoiled...]

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

starring: Rachel Mcdams, Eric Bana

Watch the trailer for The Time Traveler's Wife below:


First of all, here's a brief synopsis of the film...

A romantic drama about Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian with a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, and the complications it creates for his marriage to his true love Clare Abshire.

I thought this movie was very good. As with any other film adaptations, this one is no different in terms of the liberties the filmmakers took to transformed the best selling novel, The Time Traveler's Wife into a major motion picture. Like other books-turned-into-a-major motion pictures, this film altered some parts from the book to fit them to the big screen, probably for time constraint or something. This movie though, compared to other film adaptations only slightly altered a few parts from the book, which I thought was no big deal because it still stayed true and pretty close to the spirit of the book. A lot of the most important parts from the book can still be seen in the film. I've read the book and while it was amazing and had more details than what the visuals have shown in the movie, I didn't mind at all. It still stayed pretty close to the book and it didn't disappoint. Like I said in my previous film reviews for other film adaptations I've seen and posted reviews here such as Julie & Julia, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Twilight (to name a few of my favorite books turned into movies)...books and movies are two different art forms and I don't mind that they're not going to be the exact same thing because I don't want an exact replica otherwise, what was the point in me reading the books if they're going to be translated (every single detail) to the big screen (that would be impossible even if it would make it into a series of films. They still can't fit everything into the big screen. Books turned into films are not wildly different, because obviously there are links, but they're an art form.

A book is written at a different pace, while a film is not only dealing with visuals, but also for a far wider audience than books and have to have more dramatic movement or tension than the original book. They still won't have everything that readers from the book would've like to see in the big screen as there's no such thing as a perfect adaptation. Books and movies are just two different things that should be appreciated separately. Sure, books are always the best source and provide more details, but movies (even if they had to change some things to make certain parts from the book work for the big screen, as long as they stayed true and still close to its original source, which is the book...) still provides us special and visual effects of the characters, its actions, and view of scenery/places that we can only imagine when reading. Films are there to give us more action and visuals than the books (which also gives us more details and things to imagine). It doesn't have to be an exact replica of the book, otherwise, I'll just watch the movie if that is the case, lol.

Having said all that, I didn't have any expectations when I saw this movie. I went to see it with an open mind. This movie though was pretty much how I pictured the characters, the setting/scenes, and the story from the book to look like into the big screen. Great choice of casting the leads of this film. Rachel McAdams as Clare Abshire and Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble were perfect in their roles. I love Rachel McAdams (she's one of my favorite actresses)! She was definitely the Clare I've pictured prior to watching the movie, when I was reading the book. She was great in this film (as with any other films she had done that I've seen her in such as Red Eye, The Notebook, and Mean Girls to name a few) and she didn't disappoint here. It's great to see Rachel again in this type of film. It's been a while since we last saw her a movie like this and it's amazing that she still looks the same from the last 3 movies I've seen her, lol.
Eric Bana, I must say at first, I wasn't sure as I didn't picture him as Henry while reading the book. Though he's cute and fits the role, I just didn't picture him, but after seeing this movie. He was the right Henry after all, especially the older Henry. Like Clare, I prefer him with a short hair, lol. Not too mention, he was pretty hot and sexy appearing pretty much naked (loved watching those scenes, haha...I could just stare his sexy self every time he time travels in his scenes in the movie...can't wait for the dvd already, lol) several times when he was shown time traveling to the past, present, and into the future. Eric & Rachel has a nice on-screen chemistry and I loved watching their scenes together and their characters as Henry & Clare. The rest of the cast were pretty good too esp. the young girl who played the younger Clare. She is very pretty and adorable. I loved and enjoyed watching her few scenes with the older Henry. Rachel herself did good playing her younger self as teenage Clare. She can just look young and innocent 'cause she has this baby face look that was convincing, while other actresses can't pull off playing both younger and older characters in the same movie. Also, the young boy who played young Henry and the young girls who played a toddler Alba and 10 year old Alba, Henry and Clare's daughter. They are so cute and adorable.

Here are some of my favorite scenes from this movie...

- When present Clare meets present Henry in the library (where Henry works at) for the first time
- When Henry proposed to Clare and she jokingly said, "No," at first to see what his reaction was and if it alters their destiny, lol.
- Clare & Henry's wedding scene with Henry time traveling appearing and disappearing as two different Henry's (present younger Henry and older Henry), which confused everyone at the wedding, lol.
- When Henry surprised Clare with a winning lottery ticket and the scenes where they were house hunting and finally bought their own house with an art studio for Clare
- When 40 year-old Henry time traveled to the past and meets 6 year-old Clare for the first time in the meadow from her family's big home in Michigan
- When older Henry time traveled to see teenager Clare and kissed her
- When Henry time traveled to the future and meets his future 10 year-old daughter Alba
- When Clare & Henry finally have their daughter Alba
- When Henry & Clare meet again towards the end

I love the special visual effects done to Henry's disappearing and reappearing scenes. It was like magic. Very cool.

The movie slightly altered some parts from the book like the scene when Henry took Clare to a store with television sets. In the book Henry didn't take Clare to a store. She was at home and Henry actually bought a television set (a very cheap one) to surprise Clare with a lottery ticket and for her to watch the winning numbers being announced on TV.

The money won was $5 million in the movie, while in the book it was $8 million. Other slightly altered details from the movie was Clare's miscarriages, in the movie she had two before having her daughter Alba, while in the book she had about six miscarriages and before finally getting successfully pregnant with daughter Alba. In the movie, Clare was furious when Henry told her he had a vasectomy after she keeps having miscarriages, but in the book when he told her about it...she wasn't as she already knew. Also, in the movie, it was Clare's father who shot Henry (as he and son Mark were deer hunting), but in the book, it was Mark (I think, if I remember right). In the movie, Older Henry had a conversation in the past with his younger mother in a subway (who was still alive with her lil' boy Henry), but I don't remember reading in the book with him having a conversation with his younger mother in the past. Henry's marriage proposal to Clare was a bit different in this movie too. And towards the end, deceased Henry (who was still seen time traveling) meets future Claire again, but for the last time and she wasn't a very old woman as in the book where she was 82 years old. In the movie she looked around early to mid 30s (which I didn't mind, I liked that they Clare still looked younger when they meet again for the last time). Other than those slight changes, everything else were pretty close to the book. Scenes and characters omitted from the film (hope they'll be in the deleted scenes when the dvd comes out) were the scene when 20 year old Clare and present and 28 year old Henry drove to Clare's family's home in Michigan to introduced Henry to her family and to spend and celebrate Christmas with them. I loved and enjoyed reading those parts from the book. I would've love for at least that Christmas dinner at Clare's family scene to be in the movie, but unfortunately, it wasn't shown in the movie. The minor characters missing were Kimi (aka Mrs. Kim, who works for Henry's family), Sharon (Mark's fiancee who is from Jacksonville, FL), Ingrid (Henry's suicidal ex-girlfriend), and Celia (who was into Ingrid, but was friends with Clare). I didn't mind that they weren't in the movie though as they were minor characters from the book. Gomez and Charisse were at least present in the movie as they play important roles and were the supporting characters to Henry & Clare's. Gomez had so much more in the book including his secret relationship with Clare, but the movie didn't show it or didn't show much details of his character, which I was glad 'cause I find Gomez annoying in the later chapters of the book, lol.

Overall, this movie was great. I loved and enjoyed watching it (as does my friends who saw this movie with me). It was very interesting to see the colorful visuals, the characters from the pages of the book especially Henry & Clare and their timeless love and romance come to life in the big screen. The story was so beautiful, touching, romantic, happy, and sad all at the same time. I loved it all! What can I say, I'm a sucker for a love story/ romantic movies, lol.

As for the technical aspects of this movie, the cinematography was stunningly beautiful (much like my other favorite adaptations such as Rachel McAdams' other film adaptation, The Notebook, Keira Knightley's Pride & Prejudice and Atonement films, and Anne Hathaway's Becoming Jane to name a few). I would recommend anyone to see this esp. if you love romantic drama as I do, have read the book version (like I did), and mostly especially if you are Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana's fans. You'll love and enjoy watching this film. Definitely a must see for all Eric Bana fans (even non-fans). He was yummy, sexy, and naked in some scenes in this film...those scenes alone were worth watching, lol. Rachel herself was so beautiful. She looks great in almost every scene she was in.

My Time Traveler's Wife film Rating: ! (9.5/10; A)


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