A man with a condition that makes him shift back and forth through time meets a woman who claims she's known him all her life- even though his never seen her before.
If you ask someone who's not a fan of the genre what science fiction is, they'll probably give you one of two examples: either Star Wars, or Star Trek. And most of the movies Hollywood puts out only exacerbate this idea that sci-fi has to have spaceships and bad actors making out with blue women.
But every once in a while a movie comes around that defies the old standard. Open Your Eyes (or it's English language counter-part Vanilla Sky) is the first example that comes to mind. A movie that most people will watch and never realize they were watching science fiction. Like all good entries to the genre, what makes these movies work is subtlety. And this is where the The Time Traveler's Wife really shines. Subtlety not only in the effect used for Henry's time jumps, but also in the way they effect his and Clare's life.
When you love someone who has a condition, whatever it may be, it becomes a casual part of your life together. An epileptic having a petite Mal mid conversation. A mother changing the line on her diabetic son's insulin pump. A husband who has fits that push
him through time. This movie spends focus on evaluating Henry's condition sparingly, opting instead to spend it exploring how it effects his life and relationships, which are beautifully acted.
Gorgeous Eric Bana and the beautiful Rachel McAdams are enthralling as Henry and Clare. What really pops is not the fire and passion, but that they play weather worn live so well. Their chemistry lays in the fact that their romance feels like it's been through the wringer and made it to the other side; scarred, but still standing. In short, they feel married.
When I left the theater after the show I was convinced I hadn't liked The Time Traveler's Wife, maybe because I had been looking for that fiery romance we're usually sold at the box office. But by the end of the day I was singing it's praises to everyone I could find. This movie is well worth the price of admission in my opinion, but I know some people will be put off by the science fiction plot point. To them I suggest they watch it for the touching love story. Heck at the very least- go watch it to see Bana and McAdam's butts.
Reel Deal Recommends:
Munich: For an amazing drama with Eric Bana in the lead.
The Family Stone: For Rachel McAdams and a touching Dramedy.