The Time Traveler’s Wife was not a disappointment. Hurrah!
I think this may be my favourite book (or at least, one of them!), so I was understandably nervous about seeing the movie. What if they wrecked it? What if Henry and Clare didn’t look like Henry and Clare? I worry about these things, you know.
When I read the book, it was one of those compulsive, obsessive, I-can’t-possibly-do-anything-else-until-I-have-finished-this situations. It’s so well-written that you just find yourself completely immersed in the story, and – as I have a tendency to do – I formed a worryingly strong emotional attachment to the characters. I could feel Clare’s pain, and I wanted Henry. There’s something about the men in well-written novels. I spent a large portion of my teenage years dreaming dreams of Mr. Darcy, which explained my later (and enduring) crush on Colin Firth. Wow, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a picture of Colin Firth on these pages.
That’s better. Anyway, Henry DeTamble had a similar effect on me. Maybe greater. The story of The Time Traveler’s Wife captures my imagination, the writing captures my attention, the characters capture my heart, and I just love it. There was every danger that the film would wreck it, but it didn’t. Obviously the book will always be better – and I don’t think I’d have enjoyed the movie nearly as much if I wasn’t watching it as a fan of the book – but they’ve done a really good job of sticking to the story, keeping in the key events, and condensing complicated parts. The ending was done perfectly: exactly as I’d pictured it in my head while I was reading.
I am now bidding on a used copy of the book on eBay (I sadly left mine in Tallinn when I fled the country) because I absolutely must read it again now. The film was great, but it can’t give you the sense of the depth and strength of feelings and emotions that the novel does. Not that that stopped me bawling my eyes out of course.
I forgot to bring tissues! I whispered to Bessy in alarm as the opening credits rolled and I suddenly, for the first time, remembered going through an entire packet of tissues when I was reading the book. What was I thinking?!! She reassured me that she had some in her bag, and I sat back, relieved.
Now, I remember, in the olden days (of my teens), that the cinema stayed dark for at least a little while after the final scene of the film. This gave a person the chance to compose themselves at the end of a Weepy – 30 seconds was all you needed to hastily wipe away the tears, force a smile on to your traumatised face, and possibly pull your hair forward so that you could hide the blotchiness behind it.
Not only do I no longer have long hair to hide behind, but the lights came up the very second that the last scene faded out. Horrified, I shrank down in my seat and murmured something about a tissue to Bessy, who had not, thus far, offered me one. A rummage through the handbag revealed that she didn’t have any after all. This was highly embarrassing, as there were tears running down my neck, my nose was running, and the offensive glare of the cinema lights was highlighting my plight to everyone around. Still, at least other people were wearing the same embarrassed expression, and there was definitely a lot of public sobbing going on. I was still crying as I got into the car, as a matter of fact.
What a bizarre way to choose to spend your Friday night, actually, when you think about it…