Seeing a movie immediately after reading the book is not a good idea. Usually I'm good at separating one entity from the other - they're completely different projects, different art forms. But I really wanted to see this movie. I loved the book so much, and I just wanted to see what it would be like.
I should have waited. Waited for DVD or something. I needed space between finishing the book and seeing the movie. I should have loved the movie, but I couldn't. I was too focused on what was different between the book and the movie, I just couldn't distance the two. I wasn't able to see the movie at its own work.
I'm going to try to write this review as objectively as possible. This is solely a review of the movie, not the book.
For a movie called The Time Traveler's Wife, it sure doesn't seem like she's the main character. Instead, it's Henry DeTamble, the one who travels through time. The movie opens with Henry as a little boy, listening to his mother sing in the car. Shortly after the introduction, we learn what Henry is capable of, and that's how the story begins.
Adult Henry is played by Eric Bana, and he carries himself with something I can only describe as a boyish charm. He speaks matter-of-factly about time travel and never really seems as grown-up as he's supposed to be. Every time he disappears on screen, it's beautiful. Those people who made the movie did that very well.
Rachel McAdams plays the role of Clare, Henry's wife. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the movie is limited to only two hours of storytelling, it's very difficult to understand her motivations - why she loves Henry so much. There isn't enough of her past in the movie. McAdams is beautiful, and you can see in her face that she does love him, but I find it a fault of the writers that we don't really get the why answered.
The movie is beautiful. The scenery is spectacular, especially the Meadow, where Henry and Clare meet when she's growing up. It's a lush, green countryside, and the movie is filled with color and warmth.
If you've read the book, and if you loved it, you might want to skip the movie. But if you haven't read the book, then it's a fantastic love story about a man who travels through time and the woman who becomes his wife.