At some point (probably around the time Star Wars made a wombo amount of money), Hollywood came to the conclusion that sci-fi movies were also exclusively action movies. While there’s nothing wrong with those two genres together, sci-fi geeks like myself have enjoyed the past summer, which gave us two different, and authentically really good sci-fi movies that weren’t all about laser fights and chase scenes (Moon and District 9). Now we can append that list with The Time Traveler’s Wife, which might not be as great a film as the two aforementioned, but it’s still pretty solid all the same.
The plot gives us Eric Bana as Henry, a man whose genetic make up will cause him to periodically flash forward or backward in time for a limited amount (usually no longer than a few hours) before returning to that plane in time he can call home sweet home. The story spans his relationship with Claire, a similarly aged woman who first met Henry when she was seven years old and Henry was a grown man.
There are a few moments in the first act where The Time Traveler’s Wife feels like it’s about to set sail for cheesy romance novel territory, but over time it becomes clear that the movie’s commitment is to the characters and the relationship at the center of the piece, rather than awful schmoozy dialogue.
The final product is pretty competent. Although it doesn’t necessarily feel like an episode of The Twilight Zone, it hosts a similar feeling of an interesting story fully encapsulated in its own sci-fi world with rules and ideas that are strictly honored. But if I could stop being a geek and start being a chick for a moment, I have to admit the love story totally worked for me (it doesn’t hurt that I’ve nursed a crush on leading lady Rachel McAdams for some time now), and makes for an effective base to the film.
In the end, it’s mostly forgettable; but the love story is enough to keep you interested, and the time travel aspect is enough to keep you thinking.