Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team
Have you ever been so excited about a movie? I mean really excited? Having read The Time Traveler’s Wife cover to cover a few years ago, I have been anxiously awaiting the premier of the film version for months. This time travel romance is essentially my summer’s Harry Potter or G.I. Joe.
The film tells the story of Clare (Rachel McAdams) and Henry (Eric Bana) as they attempt to overcome the challenges brought on by Henry’s genetic disposition, which sends him through time, sometimes for months, even years.
While McAdams and Bana are cast as the leads, the real star of The Time Traveler’s Wife is Chicago itself. Locals watching can appreciate how lucky the characters are to live in such a magnificent and versatile city, while doomed to endure its unforgiving weather. At one point, the fierce freezing temperatures prove to be a detriment to even Henry’s time travel, as he winds up in the hospital. That’s timeless Chicago: cold.
Familiar Windy City sights featured in the film include the Lakeshore, Newberry Library, the El, Lincoln Park Zoo and one of those charming “vintage” one bedrooms we’ve all experienced at least once while living in the city. Additionally, you can also visit Clare and Henry’s movie home yourself in Lincoln Square.
The film is based on the novel written by Audrey Niffenegger, a Chicago native and professor in the MFA program at Columbia College. The novel is a page-turner, and it’s disappointing to watch the on-screen adaptation with omitted scenes and characters (as well as complex character struggles), which might have strengthened the story’s climax. On The Today Show, Rachel McAdams concluded that as it’s a long book, the movie is “definitely distilled down,” but that the core of the on-screen relationship is true to the original story. If you’re a fan like me, the thought will likely cross your mind that “the book was better than the movie.”
But who doesn’t love Rachel McAdams? Her smile and acting talent is worth paying to see, as is Eric Bana’s performance in a serious, sentimental and romantic role. It only took one glance at Clare’s childhood home and the famous meadow, for me to think, “That’s just how I pictured it while reading the book!”
But it’s Chicago that steals the show. The seasons of the city alone make The Time Traveler’s Wife a timeless film. It’s a delight to see Chicago’s fall and winter, with such a short glimpse of warm weather, and wonder — as in real life — whether the city’s spring or summer actually exists.
Check out the trailer below or watch Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana featured on The Today Show.