Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife book and film

I finished reading Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife last week. I was rushing to finish it before I saw the movie. The book is an incredible science-fiction love story between Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire. Having freshly read the book, I thought the movie was good enough - though not nearly as good as the book, of course.

Henry, a handsome librarian, meets Clare when he is in his forties, and she's only six-years-old. He's a time traveler (or chronologically displaced), who travels against his will. He first learns of his rare ability, or disease as they call it, after the tragic death of his mother in a car accident. His mother's death has affected his entire life, including his relationship with his father, a talented musician.

Clare falls in love with Henry over the years. Then eventually the stars line up, as Henry told her they would (because he's seen the future), and they meet in the present. They get married and want to start a family. Unfortunately, they discover that the baby is a time traveler too and keeps traveling out of the womb. Their relationship is often sad because Clare is left alone worrying about Henry while he is time traveling.

The book was hard for me to comprehend at times. You really just have to remember that Henry time travels, usually to the past (a few times to future), while Clare is always in the present.

In the film, Henry is played by the dark and handsome Eric Bana, and Clare is played by The Notebook's Rachel McAdams. I thought that both characters were perfectly cast. The problem with the film is that there's just too much information to fit into a few hours onscreen. I can see that it would be super-confusing for someone who hadn't read the book.

Some major things that were left out of the film was Henry's relationship with Ingrid (pre-Clare), a woman who killed herself over him. Also, Gomez's love for Clare was sort of glossed over in the film. He was Clare's best friend's, Charisse, husband. The ending of the book and film were completely different. I assume that they changed the ending to be more movie-friendly. Either way, both endings left me teary-eyed.

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