I was skeptical when I heard that The Time Traveler’s Wife would become a movie. It’s such a complicated story. How could it not confuse the viewer?
I watched the movie today, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a well crafted movie that stayed close to the book’s plot and did not make any major changes. Yes, as always in movies, major details were omitted and the movie isn’t anywhere near as powerful as the book was. But I expected that.
Unlike other movies depicting time travel romantically, like Somewhere in Time, in this story time travel is extremely dangerous and hazardous. The traveler is not in control of the travel, it just happens spontaneously and he can’t take anything with him. So he pops up naked every time, and has to break into places to steal clothes, or get into fights to defend himself against hooligans that don’t like a naked guy appearing out of nowhere attacking them for their pants or wallet.
It is a love story. The protagonist, Henry, is a middle-aged man who first appears to a little girl, Clare, in a meadow near her house. Over the years he visits more often, and eventually they get married when they meet up in “real time.” From their normal lives, Henry makes involuntary excursions into the past and the future, at times visiting himself at different ages, putting together the complex tapestry of his own life.
This is a rich story, well told and crafted. If you enjoyed the book, you have to see the movie. If you didn’t read the book, enjoy the movie on its own merits.