The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Premise: A woman (Rachel McAdams) falls in love with a man whose body randomly travels through time (Eric Bana).
What Works: Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams are very good actors and they do the best they can with the material in the film.
What Doesn’t: The Time Traveler’s Wife is very stupid. Eric Bana’s character randomly shifts to new places in time but he almost always seems to end up within a hundred miles of his wife. But what’s worse is that the film does not use his condition to add any insight into their relationship or about the nature of love. Instead his time traveling is just a random act; Bana’s character appears at different ages, sometimes within the same scene, but he is fundamentally the same character through the whole film and apparently hasn’t learned anything about life from his experiences. Rachel McAdams’ character is equally flat, starting the film in love with Bana’s character for no particular reason. The Time Traveler’s Wife is full of vomit-worthy romantic clichés, from the couple running toward each other in a field to the requisite wedding scenes. The resolution of the story is the worst of this mess. The film isn’t driving toward any conclusion and it doesn’t reveal anything to the characters or to the audience.
Bottom Line: The Time Traveler’s Wife is a lousy film. It makes absolutely no use of its premise and has nothing to say about love or relationships.
Episode: #254 (September 6, 2009)