First the movie…. Then the book
A few years ago Mrs. T. and I went to see the movie The Time Travelers Wife. Shortly thereafter, I reviewed it on this blog. My critique was fairly roundly panned by a few of my favorite “commenters”. A common theme was that if I had read the book first, I would have understood the movie much better. I filed that thought on the To Be Read List. Here is what I wrote back then. “Now I don’t mind "chick flicks" at all. That is especially true if their based on a bestselling, generally highly rated novel. Even though I hadn't read the book, I figured with a title like that it had to be something special. It was. It's had all the scenes that make you want to tear up. The wedding where the groom is late, then suddenly arrives. There are two cute and precocious children. They were his daughter and his wife..... Oh wait a minute that doesn't sound good. Our hero, Henry the husband keeps skipping out at inopportune moments and then dies twice and...... Ooops , let me start over.
Henry is a time traveler. That means he comes and goes in space and time pretty much at random. Claire meets and falls in love with him as a child. She grows up. They get married. This whole time travel thing is really really inconvenient but she has no regrets. I'm pretty sure she said that, although with all the jumping back and forth, time and space wise, it's hard to be sure. This is a Love Story. Nobody actually says "love is never having to say you’re sorry," from the movie of the same name. Actually Henry is sorry a lot.
Alright, you can see where I'm going. It's not bad. It's not awful but the whole thing is pretty silly, even, dare I say it, trite. The characterizations are minimal. Some will point to deeper meanings behind all this. Deconstructing it’s all obviously a deep metaphor for something else. Well, yes, life has its ups and downs. I even got a little wet around the eyes a few times .... but mostly, I had to work hard to stifle some serious giggles at what were clearly the wrong times. Mrs. T. didn't appreciate that.
Btw I asked Mrs. T. if she would recommend the movie to her friends. She replied "yes, but only if they were fans of science fiction." I asked how many of those she had. "None," she replied. Maybe she was reluctant to use the word romance. For the male part of the audience, I think they could, at least, understand why Henry kept coming back. That Claire was well worth the effort.”
So. Finally I just finished reading the book. It was worse than the movie . Yes is it was cleverly written and surely unique but in the end even more confusing than the movie. Perhaps, I should stick to reading comic books. At least I can follow the plot….