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Eric Bana
Rachel McAdams
Ron Livingstone
Jeremy Leven.
Robert Schwentke.
Bruce Joel Rubin.
Running Time
107 minutes

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The Time Traveler's Wife
The romantic pitfalls of travelling back to the future

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A Chicago librarian (Bana) suffers from a genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel through time when stressed. Despite this, he tries to build a relationship with an artist (McAdams).

The Time Traveler's Wife
Though not a patch on Audrey Niffenegger¹s wonderful source novel, Robert Schwentke's delayed adaptation is not the painful hatchet-job suggested by the TV spots.

Shoehorned into 107 minutes, much of the novel¹s richness has been lost, while an appealing handful of supporting characters are left with little screentime and the score is intrusive.

All that said, the note-perfect casting of Eric Bana as time-travelling Henry and Rachel McAdams as his time-transcending life-love Clare are the movie's ace, both actors' conviction doing much to paper over its flaws, while the story's unique treatment of love and loss still cannot fail to catch at the heart.

Competent and well-cast, but it crams too much into the runtime and loses the elegance of the novel.

Reviewed by Liz Beardsworth

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Time Traveler's Wife
Empire Star Rating

Could have done more with it if it wasn't for the fact that they tried to fit in far too much into nowhere near enough time. The director should have developed the characters more, slowed down, and kept a lot more of the book. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dogenegra at 12:18, 20 November 2012 | Report This Post

The Time Traveler's Wife Review

Though it may satisfy fans of the novel, The Time Traveler's Wife's plot contrivances and illogical narrative hamper its big screen effectiveness. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 23:20, 04 March 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

It's a seemingly well filmed film,but i agree the central relationship as developed doesn't work. I don't think it is deliberately creepy though,it just wasn't that well thought out. It's a shame as there was a really good love story to be told here(with the time travel thrown in!). ... More

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 23:23, 11 September 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

I haven't read the book so I can only judge the film on itself. Whilst I think that Rachel McAdams is a perfect fit for Claire, I'm not sure that Eric Bana quite works as Henry.  He seems too reserved and it makes the relationship feel somewhat one sided.  Claire appears infatuated with Henry from since she was a little girl but Henry seems very stand-offish and unsure and that detracted significantly from the power of their relationship.  I also agree that the dynamic of th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Groovy Mule at 23:45, 10 September 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

saw this last night - have never read the book thoroughly enjoyed the film - very intriguing - and I'm man enough to admit it made me tearful at the end! 3.5/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hampstead bandit at 21:05, 10 September 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

Which she did because he started visiting her naked while she was a very little girl.   I think the author was trying to lose the rather distasteful dodginess of the whole thing in a 'throws hands up - but it's all explained by TIME TRAVEL' kind of way.   Bad book, as bad film. ... More

Posted by elab49 at 13:45, 09 September 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

No, he met adult Claire in his timeline before he started going to the meadow. ... More

Posted by paul_ie86 at 12:18, 09 September 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

This is quite a screwed up film. When you sit and think about it,he's going back in time to see his love when she was a child. So did he fall in love with her AS a child? Is this not kind of creepy?? ... More

Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 09:01, 06 June 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

This for me sums up the need to see films more than once to fully appreciate them. I originally saw it at the cinema with a lady and came away with a 3-star appreciation. This may have been refracted from my lady friend's one word review ("unusual") but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. The lead roles were brilliantly cast and Rachel McAdams was particularly irresistable.   Then, out of curiousity, I read the book, thoroughly enjoyed it and was interested to see the character... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by REALLYMAD at 14:24, 04 June 2010 | Report This Post

Romantic But Not Sweeping Me Off My Feet.

My sister read the book and wanted to see the movie so I rented it and checked it out last night. It does have perfect casting from Eric Bana and Rachel Mcadams as Clare and Henry, beautiful sights especially on the Blu-Ray and plenty of romantic moments along with some tragic scenes that could leave you with a tear or two. But it didn't sweep me off my feet like other romantic movies have done, seemed a little rushed at the end and by the sounds of things isn't a patch on the book. Worth seeing... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 10:46, 14 February 2010 | Report This Post

RE: The Time Traveler's Wife

Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams were the perfect choice for Henry and Clare. Their relationship has this tragically poetic feel to it that you know is going to end up doomed, yet every time you read the book you pathetically hope for a happy ending. In a way, it is. The loss and gain every time Henry reappears makes the cynic in you bow down to romantic optimism. The Time Traveller’s Wife is actually one of my favourite novels, so I had expectations of the movie. Despite the faults - fractured tim... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jessica_ca_ca_ca at 09:50, 26 August 2009 | Report This Post

RE: The Time Traveler's Wife

I absolutely loathe the book but was dragged to this by a friend. It's actually not bad. In some ways I thought it was better than the book, the characters are much more likeable for one thing. Bana and McAdams are great. An okay way to pass a few hours, but nothing more. ... More

Posted by Sundance at 17:19, 20 August 2009 | Report This Post

RE: The Time Traveler's Wife

ried after reading these reviews that so much will have been taken out of the book, but I'm still going to see it this evening regardless.t=tahoma] of the book is looking very battered as it has been lent to so many people now, definitely one of my favourites, and hopefully still will be after tonight! ... More

Posted by barney01uk at 13:43, 20 August 2009 | Report This Post

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