A boy named Henry disappears
And learns he travels through the years.
He comes and goes at random times,
Buck naked, prompting several crimes.
But, through his travels here and there,
He meets a lovely girl named Clare.
She loves his future self she knew
From many a childhood rendezvous;
In turn, he meets her as a kid.
As romance blooms, he’s glad he did.
His odd condition causes dread,
But love prevails, and soon they’re wed.
His sudden exits take their toll,
Although they’re out of his control.
But Henry makes it up to Clare
By making her a millionaire.
The lottery allows the two
To buy a home that Henry knew.
When they attempt to have a child,
They lose a few, and both are riled.
The babe time-travels too, it seems,
Too soon, a loss which breaks their dreams.
Thus, Henry tries to save Clare pain
And has a vasectomy, but in vain.
His wife won’t take kids off the shelf
And so conceives with his past self.
This time, Clare gladly bears a daughter,
Alba, who’s just like her father.
Though all seems well, there looms the thought
That one day Henry will be shot.
They saw his future self once, hurt,
A fact he knows he can’t avert.
He treasures every moment till
Clare’s dad hunts deer and shoots to kill.
His wife and daughter know he’s near;
His past self lives and might appear.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is honestly a very weird romance, but it also is one of the most bittersweet movies I’ve ever seen. Many elements are downright strange in an oddly clever way, such as Clare getting pregnant by Henry’s past self or marrying his future self, but other scenes had me and my VC on the verge of tears. The scene where Henry meets his dead mother on the train is particularly a tearjerker, but that shot toward the end of his handprint fading on the window touches me deeply as well. The continuous shot of the couple’s five years with Alba is also a nice artistic flourish.

According to my VC, Eric Bana is certifiably “cute” as Henry DeTamble and much more faithful and likable than in his earlier role as Henry VIII in The Other Boleyn Girl. Rachel McAdams is equally attractive, and the two make a great pair. (McAdams was also in the recent About Time, playing a time traveler’s wife, so she must enjoy such roles.)

Most of the undesirable elements are in the first half hour, mainly the profanity and Henry’s unfortunate need to steal clothes after every time jump. Even if these thefts are justifiable, the mere concept of a protagonist stealing clothes is problematic; I didn’t like it in Man of Steel, and I don’t like it here. Not to mention, he and Clare sadly fall into bed right after meeting; it would have been better if they had at least gotten to know each other more. (I know Clare knew Henry, but he didn’t know her at all.) Despite these grievances, The Time Traveler’s Wife is quite a unique love story that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

Best line: (Henry’s past self) “Where’s Henry?”
(Clare) “Uh, I left him sleeping. I needed some time away from him.”
(past Henry) “How’s that working out for you?”


Artistry: 8
Characters/Actors: 6
Entertainment: 6
Visual Effects: 7
Originality: 7
Watchability: 5
Other (language and aforementioned elements): -8
TOTAL: 31 out of 60

Next: #298: I Am Legend/World War Z

© 2014 S. G. Liput