There are certain ideas that are just wrong… I mean… a movie about a guy who travels in time and makes a little girl fall in love with him just to ruin her entire life with his rare genetic disease? Who can even fathom such a story? Well, as it turns out some old lady called Audrey Niffenegger did. Not only that, she managed to write this book about the time traveler and stuff, but she didn’t populated with complex sci-fi redundancy or high philosophical nonsense, no no no, she did far better job than that. What this lady did was to occupy every single excuse available to make her characters have sex and in a very explicit way! Btw, non of these revolutionary ideas make it into the silver screen in the book adaptation envisioned by director Robert Schwentke, his version of the story is far more conservative and predictable, yet the movie os not bad, just a bit uninspired.
As I stated before, this movie is about this dude who can time travel, not because he wants to, but because he’s sick. So he jumps back and forth between different important events of his life (most of the time) and this turns out to be his demise in a very dumb way I might add. So, the ending is awful, prepare for that, but the thing is that this movie has some good things going for it too.
So, what are the good things about this time traveler’s wife? Well it’s an amazing attempt to dive into the actual drama of a person who has this issue, in this particular issue the movie excels, it really puts you in the shoes of the character, especially regarding the relationship he has with his wife, which by the way is not the protagonist as the title would mislead you to believe! Waht begins as a fantasy and a romantic tale between two people bonded by non chronological time, soon becomes a drama about a couple struggling in the face of a genetic disease which prevents them from having a normal life. So the conflict arises from the realization of the wife that the life she choose with her strange husband may turnout to be not as fun as she thought it would be (at this point I don’t even know if she thought about any of the implications of her decision to marry the guy!). The drama begins with the time skipping which leads her to experiences weeks without seen him, later on it gets worst though, as the time travel disease is inherited by a child who dies before being born because of it. In a series of cringy twists, the dude gives himself a vasectomy to avoid having another unborn baby and the wife sleeps with a younger version of him as payment for that one sided decision.
It’s a shame that these same elements of slice of life stuff that make the movie strong, also make it weak, this is because the time travelling itself becomes secondary to the drama, many times we don’t even know where the guys is travelling and only a few times it really connects with the actual story. But when it does, does it in a fulfilling way and that I guess is no easy accomplishment in regards of the plot. Apart from some awful dialogues and that constant feeling that the situation makes no freakin’ sense, this is not a bad movie, is actually mildly entertaining, though now that I think about it, I don’t think I know anything about the characters!