The problem with time travel

In The Time Traveller's Wife time travel is a sore thumb.

The success or failure of a paranormal-tinged drama lies in how seamlessly the supernatural elements can cradle the melodrama. In 1991, Truly, Madly, Deeply’s ghost story was able to do this, and, from the sublime to the ridiculous, 2006’s The Lake House was able to compliment its love story with the inherent suspense in dual timelines. What’s The Time Traveler’s Wife’s problem? The time travel is distracting; it’s impossible to tell if Eric Bana is coming or going from Rachel McAdams’ life; she’s the titular wife, waiting for him to come back. The time travel is also boring; once Bana gets to a different time, he just basically walks around and waits to be transported somewhere else. The problem with Wife is that the time travel is a sore thumb, not a storytelling muscle.

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