Time Traveler's Wife

I'd watch the vibrant Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana in anything, but The Time Traveler's Wife is pushing it. Based on the chick-lit bestseller by Audrey Niffenegger, the movie is Kryptonite for guys, pulling out every tearjerking stop to make us believe in the undying passion between Clare (McAdams), an artist, and Henry (Bana), the Chicago librarian she's loved since she was six years old and he appeared to her bare-assed in her family's garden. Does she pull out the mace and scream for daddy? No way. The charming, utterly unthreatening Henry is a time traveler, zipping around from past to present to future with no control over the where, when, why and how. And after each trip he ends up freezing his cojones in some alley but always gym-toned naked. The porn industry might have treated this premise with more blunt honesty. But director Robert Schwentke (Flightplan) is PG-13 circumspect with the script by Bruce Joel Rubin, who won an Oscar for writing Ghost in 1990 and figures there's still gold to be mined from tales about dewy-eyed damsels in love with men who aren't there. Clare seems incredibly uninterested in where Henry's "chrono-impairment" takes him. So is the movie. When Clare and Henry marry she makes a pretty fuss about how he keeps missing birthdays and holidays and how she cooked such a nice dinner and all. Sheesh, do men really need to pay for a movie about guilt trips they can get for free at home? For the same effect, dive nude into a tub of molten marshmallow.

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