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The Time Traveler's Wife
BLU-RAY disk
03.04.2010 By: Aaron the H
The Time Traveler's Wife order download
Director:
Robert Schwentke

Actors:
Eric Bana
Rachel McAdams
Ron Livingston

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A man (Eric Bana) and woman’s (Rachel McAdams) powerful relationship is hindered by one tiny obstacle: the man involuntarily travels through time often, and at random.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Holy most-depressing-romantic-drama-of-all-time Batman!

I went into this movie not knowing much about it, except that, obviously, it involved a love story between the man who played a bad-ass terrorist hunter in Munich and the woman who starred in probably the most sappy love story of all-time (The Notebook). I also used my keen intellect to derive from the title that this movie had something to do with time travel. Sweet. At least while all the lovey-dovey crap was going on, I could distract myself by trying to unravel the mysteries of the film’s sci-fi twist.

How wrong I was. While time travel is a prominent character in the film, literally almost no time is given to explaining why Bana teleports like he does, why he teleports where he does, or why he teleports when he does (save for a few shot-in-the-dark guesses by the film’s characters). It comes off feeling more like a gimmick, giving the love-struck couple a problem to deal with…and what a problem that is.

Bana inexplicably teleports during key moments in the couple’s life, including just before the wedding ceremony, in the middle of the best part of the honeymoon, and during at least one of his wife’s multiple miscarriages (I told you, Depression City here, folks). The filmmakers want you to believe they're gonna have a grand reveal, they want you to believe there's a powerful mystery here to go with the love story, but when the end credits roll and no such payoff comes, you can almost hear the producers scream "Psych!". And what a downer the ending is...

So the plot is misleading and the sci-fi mystery element is basically fruitless. But lets talk about the other stuff. Cinematography is colorful and pretty slick, though not overly creative. McAdams, who says in the special features that she’s a huge fan of the book, really shows off her chops here as the titular wife. Bana seems confused throughout most of the pic, but that kind of makes sense given his tendency to randomly transcend time and space- I'd be lost too. It’s also nice to see Ron Livingston (Office Space) and Stephen Tobolowski (Ned Ryerson!) in supporting roles, even if there isn’t a ton for them to do.

Overall, I just can’t see what the draw is here. If you’re a lady lookin’ for a feel-good love story, this just ain’t it. If you’re a dude trying to find a tolerable chick flick to watch with your ladyfriend…well, buy a box of tissues to go with it.
THE EXTRAS
An Unconventional Love Story (25:55) - One of those typical making-of featurettes discussing the love element of the film. All the producers tell you right off the bat that this is a love story, and that the time travel is just a small background element. Maybe don’t include time travel then guys. The Notebook worked without it! (so I’m told, of course).

Love Beyond Words (21:06) - The cast and crew heap praise on the film and assume things about the film that never really worked (for me at least). They also discuss differences between the book and the film, McAdams thought her red hair was “a character in and of itself in the film”. Interesting, cuz I thought her hair was brown. And I never heard it speak.

The Blu-ray also comes with a Digital Copy
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The book is legendary on the romance novel circuit, so I'm gonna take the Watchmen route and file this one under "Unadaptable". You can definitely do worse than what's on display in Time Traveler's Wife, what with its above average performances and unique sci-fi elements, but at the same time, you can definitely do a lot better.
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