I have been looking forward to seeing this movie since the first little Hollywood blip slipped about it. So, in a rare display of eagerness, I was at the Friday afternoon matinee--along with about 20 other women. Ticket price: 5.25--roughly what I paid for the Starbucks balanced in my carefully-carried over-sized purse. (don't judge me)
Now, reviews have not been kind to the movie, and I can understand why. If you've read the book (which you should!), you'll quickly recognize this film as a pale shadow of a great story. Serioulsy, I spent well over 100 beautifully crafted pages working to wrap my brain around Henry's traveling. The movie blurts it out within the first 15 minutes: "I travel through time! I'm from the future!" All of a sudden, it's like George Lucas is writing the screen play. And that ain't good. There were just so many changes--some I can forgive, some I can't. Some necessary, most not. Most seem to be motivated by the need to give the film a bladder-friendly running time. But, come on. If we can get through nearly three hours of Benjamin Button, certainly Time Traveler's Wife deserved another 45 minutes or so.
But enough with the griping--here's the positive side. One, it was a lovely excuse to spend an afternoon with a dear friend--a fellow book reader who was quicker to point out the inconsistencies than I was. And if you haven't read the book, it's still a harmless bit of romantic escape. Believe me, there are worse ways to spend an afternoon than watching Eric Bana. More than that, though, there's one aspect of the story that I absolutely embrace: the life-long love between Claire and Henry.
See, Claire has loved Henry since she was a little girl--when he travels back from the future to see her (just go with it...). It makes me think about the fact that God has a mate chosen for each of us--how out there somewhere is a young woman, or even a little girl, who is destined to be the wife of one of my sons. Our lives are crafted beyond our knowledge, our days planned out before our conception. I think about my hubby, too, how very much I love him--how wrapped up I am in his life and he in mine. When I think about who I was growing up, I think I've always loved him, because he is everything that I adore--funny, sweet, honorable, a fan of John Hughes movies. Goodness, wouldn't my life have been simpler if I had simply patiently waited to turn 22 and meet him?
So, if there's a lesson from the movie (NOT the book), it might be this. Take your daughters. Let them know that God has a plan for their lives, and it's a plan worth waiting for. Take your sons (tell them you're gong to GI Joe and distract them with popcorn). Let them know that those girls they see in school are--deep down--little girls waiting for the man they love. There are worse movies. There are worse messages.