Time-traveling romance skips past logic, substance
Associated Press So let’s try to get this straight, here. In “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” Eric Bana plays a guy named Henry who jumps around the past, present and future, only he can’t control where or when he goes. Supposedly, he also can’t control how he gets back where he came from, except for when he tries certain tricks to place himself in a state of mind to time travel. Even then there’s no way to guarantee which version of Henry will show up: the same one who left or a younger or older version of himself.
Still, he manages to hold down a job at a Chicago library and maintain an apartment, makeshift as it is. The only constant seems to be that when he shows up at his destination, he’s always naked. (Somehow, Henry has found time between all his travels to hit the gym.)
Hunky as he is, he’d be a frustrating guy to fall in love with, or even date. Women like stability, you know. But Rachel McAdams’ character, Clare, must be made of stronger stuff than the rest of us, because not only does she tolerate Henry’s pesky inconsistency, she believes he’s her destiny, and that he has been since the first time she saw him as a precocious 6-year-old girl (played by Brooklynn Proulx). The core of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is their struggle to stay together.
Director Robert Schwentke’s film, based on the Audrey Niffenegger best-seller, breezes through their relationship, including the fact that Clare and Henry’s meet-cute is more like a meet-creepy. He shows up wearing no clothes in the meadow behind her parents’ house, asks to borrow her picnic blanket and just starts talking to her. This doesn’t freak her out at all — where is the stranger-danger lesson, people? — presumably because she knows, even at this tender age, that she is cosmically meant to be with him.
Maybe it’s more plausible on the written page — or maybe you just have to be a hopeless romantic, and willing to shut off the part of your brain that craves logic, to enjoy this.
Despite the time-tripping inconsistency of Henry (Eric Bana), Clare (Rachel McAdams) believes the hunky librarian is hers for always.