The Time Traveler's Wife

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The Time Traveler's Wife

Every generation gets the Somewhere in Time it deserves, and apparently, we’ve earned a no-heartstring-left-unmolested adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s best-seller about a gentleman (Bana) cursed with the ability to randomly slip through the decades. This nasty habit of disappearing willy-nilly between past, present and future doesn’t stop him from hooking up with his soulmate (McAdams), whom he first met as a six-year-old girl and will eventually marry. In between her delivery of exposition-chunky dialogue and his various posttraveling reappearances in the buff (Bana fans: there will be buns), audiences are given ample opportunities to swoon over a romance that defies eras, age ranges and every semblance of narrative logic.

That the actors can pull off such Oprah-friendly, sci-fi--inflected sap and keep straight faces is the most fantastic thing about this loopy love story. Granted, they’re in familiar territory—Bana has already played sexy, sensitive and saddled with inconvenient superpowers in Hulk, while McAdams previously perfected her achy-breaky bona fides in The Notebook—and neither seems genetically capable of giving a dull performance. But they’re only human, and mere mortals can’t salvage a Mbius strip--tease that’s overdependent on keeping you slack-jawed by its cleverness. Your tolerance for Hallmark-card sentimentality, meanwhile, will have been tapped dry long before the clock runs out. (Opens Fri.)—David Fear

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