Saturday, April 23, 2016

A to Z Challenge: The Time Traveler's Wife

I read the book for this not too long after it came out.  Then thanks to Anjelina Jolie splitting up Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston I had to wait a few years longer to watch a movie version of it.  (See, Pitt and Aniston were going to star in it as a testament to their love but then they broke up and had to determine who got custody of the movie.  Or something like that.)  But I did eventually watch the movie starring Eric Bana and Rachel MacAdams.  They're both OK but not great.

My movie review pretty well sums it all up:
Being a single man, I don't watch a lot of love stories in the theater. But I had read the novel "The Time Traveler's Wife" twice and had been looking forward to the movie version, which had faced numerous setbacks thanks to Brad Pitt. At any rate, I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was pleased because the movie eliminates a lot of the useless ballast that made the book nearly 600 pages to fit it into 108 minutes.

As the title suggests, the movie is about a time traveler and his wife. If you want to go chronologically, when Heny DeTamble was six, his mother died in a car accident and he finds out that he has a genetic disorder that causes him to randomly skip through time. A few years later, six-year-old Clare is playing in the meadow behind her family's mansion when she meets a naked man, who turns out to be an older version of Henry who has traveled back in time. She gives him a blanket and it starts a friendship with Henry as he appears at random intervals.

When Clare is in college, she meets Henry at the Chicago Public Library, where he works. For Henry it's the first time he's met Clare while for her it's not. (If you've watched "Star Trek" then you should be able to follow this.) As you should be able to figure out, they wind up getting married and from there experience marital difficulties that are unique to their situation, like Henry disappearing for sometimes weeks at a time and babies disappearing from Clare's womb.

If you've read the book and liked it then you should like the movie, as long as one of your favorite parts wasn't one that was eliminated. If you haven't read the book, then I'm not sure how much you'll enjoy it, though the old ladies next to me in the theater seemed to like it and I don't think they'd read the book.

As I mentioned at the beginning, the movie gets rid of a lot of the bloat from the novel. Most of Clare's younger years are eliminated, which isn't a huge loss. (This eliminated the most cringe-inducing scene of the book where 41-year-old Henry screwed 18-year-old Clare.) The stereotypical Korean babysitter and black cook are cut out and definitely no big loss. As well the brief subplot of Clare and Henry's friend Gomez hitting on Clare has been removed. The one thing I wish they had kept was the ending, but overall it was a worthy adaptation.

That is all.

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