Friday, August 14, 2009

Book to Movie: The Time Traveler's Wife

Photobucket Summary: This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with "Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she'd known him all her life. He, however, had never seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to Clare, he suddenly finds himself time travelling to Clare's childhood and meeting her as a 6-year-old. The book alternates between Henry and Clare's points of view, and so does the narration. Reed ably expresses the longing of the one always left behind, the frustrations of their unusual lifestyle, and above all, her overriding love for Henry. Likewise, Burns evokes the fear of a man who never knows where or when he'll turn up, and his gratitude at having Clare, whose love is his anchor.

Review: So it's been 2.5 years since I've read The Time Traveler's Wife,but I remember the essential story. They really did capture the essence of the story, while making Clare a bit more bitter, which was a good thing. I had no doubts that Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana could capture Clare and Henry. It wasn't that I visioned Rachel as Clare and Eric as Henry when I read the book but the casting was perfect.

I also loved that it was filmed in Chicago. I was worried that they'd change the location of the movie to fit Hollywood and they didn't. I think that Chicago is as much a part of the story as any other character.

Sure they had to leave a couple subplots out, it's to be expected when the book is 560 pages and the movie was 108 minutes. Nonetheless, the romance of the story was very much there and that's what I wanted to see. The special effects of making Henry disappear and reappear were wonderful. It looked like they just erased him from the screen when he would time travel.

My complaint about the book was that I didn't always follow the time travelling and would find it confusing at times. The movie made it easy to follow and understand.

I will admit that I cried a couple of different times, especially when Alba was introduced. I think the parts with Alba and Henry affected me more now that I'm a mom and I see the relationship between my husband and daughter.

I often describe The Time Traveler's Wife to people as a cross between The Notebookand Ghost but I don't even think that does it justice.

Did you see it? Did you like it/hate it? How do you describe it to those who haven't read it?

Book to Movie Final Take: 4/5


Ashley August 15, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

Great post! I've been toying with reading the book before I see the movie. I'm a die hard Rachel fan so it's a matter of waiting for dvd or instant gratification

Carrie K. August 15, 2009 at 6:53 PM  

I can't wait to see this! I loved the book - and it was a couple years ago that I read it, so long ago enough that I don't think the changes/missing elements will bother me too much. Great review!

Lisa August 16, 2009 at 3:36 PM  

I read this book when it first got released in paperback, in 2004 maybe. I toyed with the idea of re-reading before I saw the movie, as I'd mentioned in my "To Re-read" post back in April, but I never got around to it. Maybe that was a good thing. What a fantastic movie!! I second just about everything Julie says in her review. The movie definitely simplified the time-travel concept, something which was confusing in the book. There were a few moments that were laugh out loud funny sometimes unintentionally, I'm sure, but were welcome moments nonetheless. I cried when Alba was introduced. I cried at the end. Like the Notebook, this was a worthy adaptation and it will live on in my dvd collection.

Lisa August 16, 2009 at 3:36 PM  
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