The Time Traveler's Wife (PG-13)
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This is based on the novel of the same name. The movie came out in 2009, but I didn't see it until 2022, on the night that a TV series based on the book started on HBO (which I don't get). I loved the book, but I was kind of dreading the movie (and not just because my executive dysfunction gives me a sense of dread about literally everything). I wasn't at all sure how good it could be, and indeed, it's nowhere near as good as the book. It's hard to say how I would have felt about it if I'd seen it without having read the book. I feel like it probably made more sense to me because I was already familiar with everything that happened, but I also feel like it would be hard for the movie to stand on its own. It just goes so fast, and leaves so much out (though there are some things I was definitely glad it left out). So it's hard to really care that much about the central relationship in the movie. In the book, you can understand Henry and Clare being in love, but in the movie it's just something about which you must suspend disbelief and take for granted. If you can do that, then you can probably manage to care about the things that happen to the characters, and I did to some degree. But on the whole, the movie felt even more disjointed than even a time travel story of this nature should be. It's just a series of events, more than a cohesive narrative. Still, I thought it was okay, and there were some bits I liked. I'll say that the scene where Henry first meets Alba still hit me fairly hard, even if not nearly as hard as it did in the book. Before I watched the movie, I thought I might link to my review from both "science fiction" and "romantic movies", but after watching I decided not to do the latter. (Also while watching it, I considered putting my review under "weird movies".)
Anyway, there's this guy named Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana), who has a genetic condition that causes him to uncontrollably travel back and forth in time (within his own lifetime, for the most part). And to make things worse, his clothes don't go with him, so he's always naked when he arrives in a different time (and when he returns to the present). This has been going on since he was a little kid, so by the time the movie is mainly set in, he's pretty used to it, but it's still a problem. Frankly, I find it hard to believe he's been able to hold a job, given that he could disappear at any moment, and remain gone for an unpredictable amount of time before returning to his present, and when he does, he has to hope his clothes are still lying around. But whatever. One day he meets a woman named Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams), who has known him ever since she was six years old, but he doesn't know her, yet. That's because the Henry from the future has time traveled to Clare's past numerous times throughout her life, up until she was 18 (two years ago). She's excited to finally meet Henry in his own present time, but he's kind of confused. Still, they pretty much immediately get together.
And... I'm not sure what else to say without spoiling too many details of their relationship. Clare introduces Henry to her friends, Charisse and Gomez. (We barely see any of Charisse throughout the movie, but Gomez is a bit more important to the story. I still think it's hard to feel as strongly as we're meant to about his and Henry's friendship, by the end.) We also meet Henry's father. (His mother died when he was little, just before his first time travel incident.) And we meet Clare's family, though we don't see too much of them. There's also a geneticist named Dr. Kendrick (Stephen Tobolowsky), who studies Henry's condition. Anyway, Henry and Clare's relationship has its ups and downs, and sometimes it's kind of hard to accept that certain situations resolve themselves in between scenes, so they're happy together when practically just a minute ago they were fighting, sometimes over pretty serious issues. I suppose I should say that Clare gets pregnant a couple of times (if I recall correctly it was more than a couple, in the book), but always miscarries (possibly because the fetus time traveled from inside her womb, but I don't think that was really determined for sure). But they do eventually have a daughter named Alba, who is a time traveler, like her father, but better able to control it, at least sometimes. She's not in the movie for very long, but she's probably my favorite part of it. And now I really don't know what else to say.