The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) Review

Henry has a gene that causes him to involuntary time travel and this creates some very tricky situations with his wife Clare. A complex love story that spans many years.


Henry (Eric Bana) is a time traveler and had realised his gift to suddenly disappear when he was 8 years old. When he was older he met a 6 year old Claire (Rachel McAdams). Claire used to remember everything that Henry had said to her on each of the separate visits he made to her over the years. This was from when she was 6 to 18, that was the last time she saw him until meeting him again years later (however, he did no know who she was as he had not been back to that time yet). To begin with I thought this film was going to be a little complicated with the jumping between times and how to keep track of which ages they both were at different points in the story, but it was not actually that difficult to keep track of what was going on.

I found this to be a really great love story, with it being so difficult for Henry and Claire at different times with Henry suddenly disappearing every now and then. But sometimes it was more frequent and he could not stop himself from leaving. This caused many arguments for the couple, especially when it came to trying to have a child. I found the argument with Claire saying she never chose the life they had really difficult as I could not figure out if I felt more sorry for Claire or Henry. Claire because Henry kept leaving her randomly and she did not know how long for, or for Henry as he kept disappearing to different times and could sometimes not back for weeks.

I would advise you to watch this movie when you are not tired, as I think it would be much more difficult to attempt to follow along with what is going on and keep track on how old Henry is when a future Henry ends up in the present day time. Also with Claire being able to remember different things but not telling Henry as he has not experienced it yet as they have not met that time. I think the first kiss scene between an 18 year old Claire and older Henry was very difficult to watch with in her mind it was their first kiss, but not for him especially after what he had just done that day, I will not say what is it will make spoilers occur.

I think it was quite sad that no matter how hard Henry tried he could not change the past, his mother dying when he was 6 and then other events there after which he would have liked to have changed, to make things even better than they previously were. As that would be the simple solution to quite a few of the problems they faced in the film but it really was not that simple at all, which is a shame from the audience point of view of wanting a happy ending.

I had heard before I went to the see the film that it was a tear jerker so I was very much expecting to be crying while watching. I did fill up a few times but did not actually cry as it was not as sad as I thought it was going to be. Still I very much enjoyed this film and would watch it again when it comes onto TV.

8 thoughts on “The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) Review

  1. I quite enjoyed it. There where two things I didn’t like about it. Firstly half was through the film we discover he can travel forwards as well as backwards. Nothing wrong with that, just the way it was handled was a little clunky. The other thing was the attempts to change things was not very well explored. We get little more than a couple of comments about it.

    On the whole though, good film, well acted and nicely photographed.


  2. So I should suspend my disbelief and check out this movie? Sounds like it. I do love Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams is as versatile as they come, so it’s a possibility…


  3. I would still recommend seeing this movie, as the acting was very good. I liked the story but as fandangogroovers said part of the story could have had more depth.


  4. This was a likable and solid movie but it could have been a GREAT movie with bolder direction and screenwriting. The two things that bugged me the most aside from that was that we are telegraphed his death, and we are also telegraphed Alba’s existence. Both of whose don’t actually happen in the novel.


    • I always felt that it could have been great as well. Especially before seeing the film and hearing the idea. What happened at the end of the novel?


  5. At the end of the novel, Clare is in her eighties and Henry time travels forward to see her. It’s a very simple but bittersweet ending because she had been waiting for him ever since he died 😦

    I liked the ending of the movie. It was very fitting with the beginning of their relationship and very nicely shot. The ending of the book would not have worked on screen simply because the viewer would not have been introduced to the old version of Clare until the last few minutes, and hence they would have no idea who she is. This violates one of the main rule of film-making and that’s the reason why they had to reshoot the ending.


  6. You can constantly feel The Time Traveler’s Wife reaching for emotional depth, yet it never gets there. Even though Bana and McAdams try their hardest, they can’t lift this material off the ground well enough to have us totally convinced. Good review, check out mine when you can!


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