MOVIE REVIEW: The Time Traveler's Wife
I went to see "Time Traveler's Wife" this afternoon. It was better than I expected, considering that I loved the book by Audrey Niffenegger and was somewhat dreading seeing it mangled on screen. But overall I thought it was pretty well done, and I think anybody who liked the book will enjoy it.
In general I thought the scriptwriter did a reasonably good job of adapting the book to film (which can't have been easy, considering the complexity of the story and the constant shifts back and forth in time).
Some parts of the story were condensed or altered slightly (the first time Henry travels as a child, for example, which combines two separate incidents from the book into one scene) but I thought it was done in a way that stayed true to the spirit of the book. (We can only hope that the scriptwriter for the eventual OUTLANDER movie will manage to do the same!)
And speaking as someone who knows the book well, I thought there was only one scene that was left out that should have been included: the scene at the very end where Henry comes to see Clare when she is an old woman. (I suppose they thought it was superfluous, but I love that scene.)
I didn't like the way they turned the list of dates into a diary. In the book, Clare says she wrote down all the dates from a list that Henry dictated to her as a child, and which he in turn memorized from that very same handwritten list. I suppose the paradox of that was just too complicated (or headache-inducing <g>) to deal with in a movie.
I came away feeling that they had softened many of the hard edges in the original story. Henry, in the book, is a more complex, moody, sometimes bitter and angry man, especially toward the end of the book, and they glossed over most of that in the movie. By skipping Clare's teenage years, they left out some of the scenes that gave added depth to her character. (But I suppose there wasn't time to show everything.)
I thought the special effects used when Henry "travels" were very good, quite consistent with the way it's described in the book. And I loved the fact that they cast a pair of sisters (Hailey McCann and Tatum McCann) to play Alba at different ages. Very clever idea, and it added a lot to the realism of those scenes.
If you haven't read the book, I would highly recommend it, especially for fans of Diana Gabaldon's books who like time-travel stories. And if you have read the book, go see the movie and post a comment here to let me know what you think of it.
Looking for more time-travel stories to pass the time until AN ECHO IN THE BONE comes out? Here are a few of my favorites.