The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenger (Film)

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I don’t watch many films and tend to wait until they come out on DVD before watching them, but I loved reading The Time Traveller’s Wife so much that I ventured out to the cinema for the first time in four years!

The Time Traveller’s Wife is one of my favourite books and one of the only ones which has moved me to tears. I saw the trailer for this film for the first time a few weeks ago and it affected me so much that it brought tears to my eyes. I have never been so moved by a trailer before, so I couldn’t wait until the DVD was released – I needed to know if they had managed to adapt it successfully to the big screen.

I was very worried about what they would do to such a special book, but I think they did a good job. It was emotional throughout and I think I cried more in the cinema than when I was reading it. Inevitably they changed a few things, but I think these were necessary for the move from text to screen.

There were a few points when the acting didn’t come across as very natural, but I quickly forgot about them as I was swept along by the story.  The switching of points in time occasionally confused me when I was reading the book, but this didn’t happened during the film. I’m not sure if this was because I’d read the book or because seeing the pictures made it more obvious, but my husband who hadn’t read the book, did not get confused.

This film will appeal to women more than men and this was reflected by the large majority of women in the cinema, but my husband didn’t regret seeing it and enjoyed the plot too.

Overall I was very impressed with the screen adaptation. It wasn’t as good as the book, but it gets quite close.

Highly recommended.

stars4h

Have you seen it yet, or are you worried about the directors ruining your favourite book?

Were you impressed?

Is this the best film you’ve seen this year?


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44 Comments

  1. Baba says:

    I read the book and am going to see the movie this evening with a group of women who have also read the book. When reading the book, I found that focusing on the dates was confusing to me. I realize they are important to the storyline but I found myself getting too bogged down by trying to understand them. Once I focused on the story, and ignored the dates, I found I enjoyed teh book so much more. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie.

    1. Jackie says:

      Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time!

      I understand what you mean about the dates – I think I used the same technique with the book – it didn’t take long to understand what was happening, but I did have to reread a few sections.

      I hope you enjoy watching it – please come back and let me know what you thought of it.

  2. She says:

    I’v heard quite a few negative reviews about the movie from people who’ve not read the book, so I’ve been afraid to see it– maybe they just don’t understand the sheer AWESOME of the novel. I’m glad to hear a positive review from someone who has read the book, though! Thanks!

    1. Jackie says:

      That is interesting to know – I haven’t seen any negative reviews for this film yet, but everyone I know has read the book.

  3. Sandy says:

    I have vowed not to see this movie until I read the book. Of course, knowing the movie was coming, I bought the book in MARCH, being all prepared and everything, but still haven’t gotten to it. I should be shot, I know, but there you have it. So unless I get dragged to the movies under duress, it is probably destined for the Netflix Queue (or maybe the dollar theater!). I love Rachel McAdams, so I’m halfway to loving the movie already.

    1. Jackie says:

      Please don’t go to see it until you’ve read the book. I’m sure that the book will go straight into your all time top ten, so please try to read it as soon as you can. I’m not sure I’d want to watch the film straight after reading the book so waiting for netflix is probably a good plan.

  4. Mel says:

    My Wife and I saw the movie yesterday. I have read the book and really liked it, my wife has not. I explained the basic premise of the book to her before we went. We both really enjoyed the movie. My wife and I ended up talking about time traveling into each and others lives. We wondered if we would want to also time travel forward. We are not sure but we agreed we would some how want to see what our three daughters will be doing in 20 years but even this is a maybe.

    1. Jackie says:

      I’m pleased that you both enjoyed it.

      It is a great talking point – I don’t think I’d like to time travel – I don’t think I could deal with finding those sort of things out. Not knowing what your daughters will be doing in 20 years time is part of the magic – the continual guessing as things are slowly revealed.

  5. Steph says:

    I haven’t seen this movie, but I can’t say I’m all that worried about how it’s adapted from the book, as I’m one of those people who just didn’t care very much for the book (for reasons I outline in my review here: http://www.stephandtonyinvestigate.com/?p=1265 ). I’m sure this is a movie we’ll end up renting and watching… It sounds like the things reviewers disliked about the movie are the things that bugged me about the book, so I think in that respect I’ll know what I’m in for!

    I’m glad to hear, though, that your rare foray into the cinema was a fruitful and rewarding time for you!

    1. Jackie says:

      I love that review! So detailed and thought provoking! I think you may enjoy the film a bit more than the book as many of the things you criticise aren’t present, as it has been streamlined a lot. I can’t wait to read what you think of it though!

  6. Lahni says:

    I’ve read the book and I was really upset when I first heard about the movie. I was worried they might ruin the book. Now the idea is starting to grow on me. I think I’ll definitely see it, but I might wait for the DVD (mostly because I know I’ll have a hard time dragging my husband out to see it!).

    1. Jackie says:

      I was very worried too. Most of my favourites have only been average on the big screen. I hope you manage to persuade your husband that it might be OK – waiting for the DVD was just too long for me to endure!

  7. I can’t wait to see this! The challenge will be figuring out how to get my husband there! Thanks for the thoughtful review!

    1. Jackie says:

      I have to admit that if I hadn’t been able to persuade my husband to come along I would have found a group of women to go with – or even gone by myself – something I have never done before! I hope you are able to go and see it!

  8. Karen says:

    I am SO looking forward to seeing this movie!!! Not sure when it is coming out in Aust?? Like you Jackie this is one of the very few books that has moved me to actual tears while reading it, and also like you, crying while watching the trailor of the movie!! So, I loved reading your review because it sounds like the tears will keep on rolling when I finally see the movie! Did you re-read the book before seeing it?? I am thinking of doing that.

    1. Jackie says:

      I’m afraid I have no idea when it is coming out in Australia.

      I didn’t re-read the book as I don’t normally re-read books. I will probably re-read it in the future.

      The tears will roll for at least 50% of the film – I found it far more emotional that the book – probably because it has been condensed to only leave the emotional bits!

  9. Trish says:

    I really worried about seeing this one, but I had to convince myself to let the book go and try to keep them separate. Even though it’s one of my favorite books, enough time has passed that I was a little foggy on some of the details. I was really pleased and cried my eyes out as well (although, I frequently tear up during previews…) :P I think I might even like the ending of the movie better than the book! Glad you liked it too, Jackie!

    1. Jackie says:

      Enough time has passed for the book to be a little foggy for me too. I can’t remember what happened at the end of the book – I thought they were very similar, but perhaps the film had a bit more hope? Perhaps I’d feel slightly differently if the book had been fresh in my mind?

      1. Trish says:

        Similar, but very different timing…. don’t wait to put spoilers here. :)

        1. Jackie says:

          I think I know what you mean – I’ll try to find a friend who has read it recently and ask them – I don’t want any spoilers either!

  10. Jenners says:

    Thank you for doing this! I’ve been waiting for a blogger who loved this book to see the film and let me know if was horrific or if they did it justice. This is one of my favorite books and I was terrified they would ruin it. I’m glad to hear it wasn’t a disaster. I shall venture forth to see it myself!

    1. Jackie says:

      I hope that you feel they have done it justice too. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

  11. Margot says:

    This got my attention and caused me to come out of the Google Reader. The book was so good you came out after FOUR YEARS? That is some endorsement. I saw the trailer and it was good, although I did not cry. Now I have to see it and read the book. I will buy extra boxes of kleenex first.

    1. Jackie says:

      Please read the book before you watch the film – it is never the same if you do it the other way round. I’m sure the trailer will make you cry once you’ve read the book – I hope you manage to get a copy of the book and enjoy it as much as I did.

  12. I’m still to read the book, if you can believe it! Glad to hear you enjoyed the screen adaptation, but it’s not something I’ll be checking out ’til I read the book. Just that, there’s so much hype around this book that I’m scared it’ll turn out to be another Da Vinci Code or Kite Runner or something.

    1. Jackie says:

      I’m afraid that you may not like the book. I would compare it to Kite Runner, but with a more complex plot. The writing is not literary, but it is one of those books with a clever, complex, fast moving, emotional plot – the sort I love, but as you weren’t a fan of Little Bee you may hate it.I’ll be interested to read you review for it though!

  13. Tricia says:

    I had a different view on the movie – it was too “Hollywoodish” for my taste. I thought that the novel, which I loved, deserved a movie with way more depth. More “arty” like American Beauty, Magnolia, Memento…that kind of feel.

    Differing views aside, your blog is one of my favourites!

    1. Jackie says:

      I can see what you mean – I would love to see an arty version of this book. Perhaps they’ll make one in the future.

      I’m afraid I just love anything that touches me emotionally.

      Thanks for the compliment! I’m off to have a look at your blog!

  14. Nicole says:

    I’m off to see this today and I am so curious to see what I think of what they did with it. I though the books was good, but I didn’t really see it as a romance. I think my take on it was very different than most others.

    1. Jackie says:

      I think it is the most emotional romance book I’ve ever read. I wonder if the film will make you see it in a different light? I look forward to finding out what you think of it!

  15. Carrie K. says:

    I’m so glad to hear that it holds up well! I can’t wait to see it.

    1. Jackie says:

      I hope you enjoy it!

  16. Melody says:

    I still haven’t read the book! I’m not sure if I should read the book or watch the movie first! But either way, I won’t miss it! :P

    1. Jackie says:

      Read the book! The film is like an abridged version – I think it would be a shame to miss out on the beauty of the book by seeing the film first.

  17. megan says:

    Oh, I can’t wait to see this. The more I hear about it, the more excited I am. This is one of my all time favourite books, and I’ve read it so many times (unusual for me to reread!) the book is practically falling apart.

    I cried in the trailer, too – I think I might have to go and see this one alone so I can sob to my heart’s content!

    1. Jackie says:

      Going alone is probably a good idea – it would be great to feel less concious of crying.

      I hope you enjoy it!

  18. The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of my favorite books, so I’ve actually been hesitant to see the movie. I’m worried that it just won’t translate well. I’m glad to hear you thought it was well done — that makes me more optimistic that I’ll enjoy it if I end up going.

    1. Jackie says:

      I was worried about it, but was very reassured by the trailer. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to go.

  19. Petunia says:

    I saw the movie first and am reading the book now. I think your review is right on. The only part I found confusing in the movie was when Eric Bana was supposed to look older but he looked exactly the same. It was difficult to tell what age he was and I think that is important to the story. But they kept telling us that he was older so it wasn’t hard to figure out. :-) The movie ranks up there with The Notebook for me. And I agree that it will be more appealing to women but it is not a chick flick. Men who like drama will enjoy the movie as much as women. (My husband did)

    1. Jackie says:

      Petunia, I agree – there were a few points when you couldn’t tell how old he was by looking at him, but they soon told you!

      I haven’t seen The Notebook, but I have the DVD here. I was thinking about reading the book before watching it – what do you think?

  20. I thought it was as good a film as they could possibly make out of such an original novel. That said, although Eric Bana was just about right, Rachel McAdams wasn’t entirely how I pictured Clare. I know they probably went for her because she is petite and elfin enough to carry the scenes where she is meant to be a teenager but she doesn’t quite have the ability, in my opinion. This aside, I loved the film and was sobbing come the end.

    1. Jackie says:

      Steven, I thought that Rachel was very similar to how I pictured Clare. I was always going to be a very difficult film to pull off, but I think they did a great job.

  21. Geraldine says:

    As TTTW is one of my absolute favourite books I had mixed feelings when I heard it was being made into a film. I have read the book twice and both times found it to be one of the most romantic and gut renching books I’ve come across. The letter that he writes at the end would melt a heart of stone!

    I watched the film on a flight and am not ashamed to admit I cried a lot! I felt that Clare was not how I had imagined her. I felt she was had a much stronger personality in the book and the Rachel McAdams was a bit too soft and forgiving. Eric Bana did not age enough. He just had slightly greyer hair when he was meant to be old.

    I did think the film captured the story pretty well, especially considering how disastrous it could have been. I was very disappointed with the end though as I always loved the way in the book that you know that Clare sees him again when she is old and they left that out.

    A good effort though and worth seeing.

    1. Jackie says:

      Geraldine, It is one of my favourite books too! There was a long time between me reading the book and seeing it, so I can’t remember the subtler things – like how strong Clare’s personality was, but I do know that both moved me to tears and that is very rare for both books and films, so I know they did a good job

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