August 24, 2009 12:00 PM

THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE

Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams | PG-13 |

ROMANCE

Next time your husband goes to the store for milk and doesn’t come home for two hours because he bumps into a buddy, cut him a break. It could be worse. Clare (McAdams) is married to Henry (Bana), who frequently and without warning disappears for days and even weeks as he involuntarily time-travels into his own past or future. Pffft—suddenly he’s gone, leaving Clare staring at a crumpled pile of his clothes on the floor.

As Ladies’ Home Journal would ask, “Can this marriage be saved?” The Time Traveler’s Wife, based on a bestseller by Audrey Niffenegger, is a swoony love story that gets too caught up in explaining the mechanics and minutiae of its hero’s wandering woes, including a subplot in which a doctor discovers Henry is “chrono-impaired.” Though some viewers may willingly jump feet first into this big bucket of goop, I found myself—despite a meltingly lovely performance by McAdams and an appealingly stoic one by Bana—put off by such queasy-making scenes as Henry chatting up Clare when he’s a 40ish adult and she’s a young girl, and later sharing a romantic kiss when she’s still a teen. Ewww.

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