February 18, 2010

Hit the snooze button: The Time Traveler's Wife

The other day I wrote about movies that I like to watch over and over. Suffice it to say that our latest rental will not become one of that group. It is neither good enough nor bad enough to revisit.

Our latest DVD was The Time Traveler's Wife. It's a love story between a time-jumping guy, and the lovestruck girl who waits for him.

The time traveler Henry has a genetic disorder that causes him to jump through time, and every so often he arrives naked in some random time and place, past or future. During one jump he comes across a six year old girl who will be his future wife, feels the cosmic universal magical non-creepy connection (she is six), and continues to visit her, eventually marrying her, occasionally vanishing to then turn up in random places, steal clothes, fix the lottery, and find his way back home.

I gotta wonder how many Hollywood suits came together to screw this one up. This movie has a lot going for it -- it's based on a popular and well-reviewed bestseller, it has talented and beautiful actress Rachel McAdams, it has handsome and talented and often shirtless actor Eric Bana, and it has an interesting original twist where his time travel is treated like a disease or chronic condition rather than a superhero's power, to all come together in what should be a great sappy touching melodramatic love story a la The Notebook or Bridges of Madison Country.

What's wrong with The Time Traveler's Wife? Like the main character, the movie jumps around randomly from major life event to major life event with no small moments to understand the characters' bond. She is whiny. He is uninteresting. Their friends are bland. The only really interesting characters are minor ones, notably his father and the couple's future daughter. And not a single Captain Kirk "beam me up Scotty" joke to be found...

So is it worth renting? The Time Traveler's Wife isn't a bad movie, and it certainly isn't as boring and tedious as the nap-inducing Amelia, it just should have been so much better. Rent Jane Campion's Bright Star instead - it's smarter, sweeter, and waaaay more romantic.


Will Burke said...

Sorry you wasted an evening. Thanks for taking one for the team (of movie watchers).

Aaron said...

I love both Rachel and Eric but you could not pay me to see this movie. Even the trailers look boring.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I am currently reading this book, but I can't say I' in love with it. I love time travel themes, and I haven't read a non-fic in 2 years. Seriously. I generally only read books on history, biography, etc. I'll probably see the movie just because I'm reading the book though.

Mark said...

I never liked the concept of time travel in any plot. You can do anything if you can travel in time. It is cheating. It makes it too easy to get out of any situation.

Michael Rivers said...

I planned to skip this one. Now I will for sure.

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