Rachel McAdams has been in quite a few big, must-see, memorable movies. Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers, Doctor Strange to name a few. But there are those in her resume one could consider overlooked. One such movie is The Time Traveler’s Wife, which recently has been added to the Netflix library.
The Time Traveler’s Wife stars Eric Bana as Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian who has a problem. Actually, it’s a genetic disorder and it causes him to time travel randomly, with little to no control over when or where he ends up. As he travels, though, he always seems to be drawn towards specific people, places, or events in his life but has no way of changing these events. Another thing that Henry is unable to change is how he arrives. Naked. Always naked. Yes, as with many time travel movies, this one can get a little complicated.
Rachel McAdams is Clare Abshire. She meets Henry, in what he presumes, for the first time in the library he works. The strange thing is Clare is overjoyed to see him. But Clare goes on to explain to Henry that she has met him before as a child. She met his future self and he had explained to her that they’d meet in the future, which is their present. Still with us? It’s only going to get more confusing.
Since they were kids, Henry has been Clare’s best friend and has continued to visit her. Clare develops a crush on Henry but gets upset when she learns that Henry is married. But when she turns 18, which is two years before they meet in the library, the older Henry kisses her, making her realize that she is indeed the one to marry Henry. But there is that time travel issue. Thankfully for Henry, he finds Clare’s diary which she has written dates when they meet. From that, he is able to have clothes waiting for him.
Their relationship is forged but always complicated by Henry’s inability to control when he disappears. As the toll mounts, Henry tries to relieve it by purchasing a winning lottery ticket so Rachel McAdams’ Clare wouldn’t ever have to worry about money. It just doesn’t help their relationship. Causing more pause is the fact that the troubled couple witness a middle-aged wounded Henry arrive briefly from another time, causing them both to wonder just how long Henry has to live.
Matters worsen when they try to have a child but each time they get pregnant, Henry’s genes cause the fetuses to time travel. Weird, we know. So, Henry gets a secret vasectomy. Clare, on the other hand, visits a younger Henry and this time is able to carry her baby full term. Before their baby is born, Henry travels forward in time and meets his pre-teen daughter Alba. She then informs him she too travels through time with increasing control. Alba then drops the terrible news on her father, he will die when she is five years old. Does Henry actually die? Does he have the ability to save himself or can his daughter, who seems to have more control over when and where she lands?
The Time Traveler’s Wife is based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger. The movie was written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Robert Schwentke. Before Rubin and Schwentke were brought on board, the initial script was penned by Jeremy Leven and Gus Van Sant had been negotiating to direct the picture. When Van Sant’s deal fell through, Schwentke was hired, and Rubin was tapped for the rewrite.
Perhaps it was the somewhat confusing premise, but The Time Traveler’s Wife didn’t fare well with the critics. Both Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams’s performances were bright spots, but the overall plot seems to be the hang-up. Critic Candice Frederick says of the film, “But I should say, if you take out the part about the dumb premise, the acting is quite good–it almost makes you forget you’re watching the big-screen version of the tv show Quantum Leap.” David Fear commented, “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.” At the box office, The Time Traveler’s Wife fared better than it did with critics. It was given $39 million to confuse folks and brought home an equally confusing $101.3 million.
Rachel McAdams has been in her fair share of big movies. She first grabbed eyes with her 2004 performance in Mean Girls following that up with the love story The Notebook with Ryan Gosling. Her next picture was an even bigger hit, the 2005 comedy The Wedding Crashers. Rachel McAdams continued her successful run with Red Eye and her career was white-hot.
After her ill-advised travel through time, Rachel McAdams found more success with a period piece in the action-adventure detective piece Sherlock Holmes. McAdams would reprise her role as Irene Adler a couple of years later in the follow-up, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Shortly after, Rachel McAdams decided to dip her toe into the time travel arena one more time when she signed on for About Time, a romantic comedy that finds a young man with the ability to travel through time to fix his past in order to change his future.
Since the mid-2010s, Rachel McAdams hasn’t seen much screen time. In fact, since 2015, she has only appeared in four features. This may partially coincide with the fact that she had her first child, a son, born in 2018 with boyfriend and screenwriter Jamie Linden. One of her films, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, was a big blockbuster and a role in which Rachel McAdams will reprise with the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Another film she shot in the past four years was the controversial Disobedience with Rachel Weisz. The movie was controversial for the fact that McAdams and Weisz had a couple of steamy and graphic love scenes play out on the big screen.
Earlier and even recent success has probably afforded Rachel McAdams more time to stay at home with her young son. On top of the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, McAdams has another project lined up. She’ll be starring in the movie adaptation of the Judy Blume classic novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Until then, head on over to Netflix and give The Time Traveler’s Wife a try. As a warning, you will not be able to go back in time and get those two hours back, though you may not even want to.