THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE
Bittersweet and Politically Correct
Release Date: August 14, 2009
Starring: Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana
Genre: Romantic Drama/Science Fiction
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 107 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Robert Schwentke
Executive Producer: Brad Pitt, Richard Brener,
Michele Wies and Justis Greene
Producer: Nick Wechsler and Dede Gardner
Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin
Address Comments To:Jeffrey L. Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Alan Horn, President/COO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (New Line Cinema)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
The story opens with a young boy named Henry uncontrollably traveling through time and avoiding the crash that killed his mother, an opera singer. Cut to Henry as a young man who meets a pretty redhead named Clare in the library where he works. Clare already knows Henry, because his older self has been meeting her since she was six in the meadow outside her rich family’s home. She tells Henry this, but he doesn’t really believe her.
Soon, however, Clare and the younger Henry begin a romance. Clare tells Henry that she has always wanted to marry him, especially when he told her that he was a time traveler.
Flashbacks reveal how Clare and Henry first met. They also reveal that Henry cannot control his time traveling – it just happens to him. Also, Henry loses his clothes when he travels through time, so he has developed skills as a resourceful thief to steal and borrow clothes, apparently so people will not attack him for being naked. In one scene, however, he has to put on a woman’s blouse and the movie shows him punching another man and calling the man a “homophobe.”
Eventually, Henry asks Clare to marry him and she does. They decide that Henry’s condition is a genetic anomaly. The problem is, however, that Clare never knows when Henry will disappear and reappear. Also, Clare starts having miscarriages, which could mean that any baby they conceive suffers from Henry’s condition. All this causes a strain in their marriage. Thus, the time travel ability that brought them together also threatens to tear them apart.
Furthermore, Clare realizes there never has been a time where she has ever been visited by Henry past his middle 40s. Does this mean that Henry will die an early or untimely death?
THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE is bittersweet. It is sometimes sad but also joyful and inspiring. Although the acting by the two leads (Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams) is good, the chemistry between them does not seem quite strong enough. Thus, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE is not a really great romantic movie like SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE or last year’s ENCHANTED.
Also, though the movie has some strong positive moral elements about love for spouse and family, it has a light humanist worldview with no overt or implied positive references to God, Jesus Christ or God’s Law. The characters must rely on their own positive personal relationships instead. That, of course, is neither comforting nor a reason to celebrate, because, as this movie clearly shows, our relationships can be torn apart by circumstances if we do not have God, Jesus Christ or God’s Law to guide us.
Furthermore, the movie makes it a point to mock Henry’s father-in-law for being a Republican and for being a hunter. How awful! Not only that, but the father’s character as a Republican and a hunter also has a negative impact in the ending’s resolution of some of the movie’s plot problems. Blame it all on those mean Republicans and those mean hunters, not to mention the quote “homophobes” unquote!
All in all, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for the movie’s worldview problems, plenty of foul language, implied pre-marital sex, and its support of the stealing and thievery that its time travelers must do in order to survive.
THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE is bittersweet. It is sometimes sad but also joyful and inspiring. It is well done, but not brilliant. The movie has some strong positive moral elements about love for spouse and family, but it also has a light humanist worldview with strong politically correct content. For example, the ending and a couple lines attack Henry’s father-in-law for being a Republican and for going hunting! How awful! Of course, without God, Jesus Christ or God’s Law to guide us, our personal relationships are unreliable. There is also plenty of foul language and some implied sex. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.