movie vs book: and the winner is?…

sunday night was a good evening to try the time traveler’s wife, again. the movie-watching was my reward after an afternoon of cleaning, puttering, and organizing (although those tasks are a pleasing and satisfying way to begin a new year, to my mind).

there were no issues, this time, with nicole’s other dvd! [sidenote: i am really terribly excited because nicole told me she has quite the library of dvd’s which she is more than happy to lend to me. maybe i need to re-institute movie watching – “watch 42 of nicole’s dvd’s” – as part of the next kiki project! that’s a joke – i am not spilling any beans by telling you that there will be no movie watching in the soon-to-be-revealed plan].

so, quick reminder that i finished the time traveler’s wife book back on december 15th. the reading portion of my brain has not been further cluttered because i am currently finishing up danielle steel’s the journey. it is no great work of literature, let me assure you. so, the details of the time traveler’s wife novel are still clear.

if you have not read the novel or seen the movie – and intend to, in the future – you may wish to stop reading now and come back tomorrow. i cannot guarantee that i won’t spoil the story for you in the discussion of the book vs movie, today. normally, i refrain from movie and book summaries but i do want to do some compare-and-contrast with book and movie – you’ve been warned!

the book:


the dvd:


still with me?! ok!

like i told you, i thought the book was good but not great. now, the movie? it was better than i expected, and i loved it [in order to give a fair and just movie vs book comparison, i even refrained from knitting during the movie so that i could really focus!]. here are my thoughts:

  • the movie makes the time travel concept so much more clear than the book – i was confused for the first few chapters of reading, but in the movie, the whole issue of henry’s age vs the year he travels to is totally and easily comprehensible.
  • the movie opens with a gripping and horrific scene that does not appear in the book until you’re a few chapters in. knowing what would unfold, i peered through my fingers in squeamishness…but the movie is not graphic, and the whole scene helps set up the plot for the rest of the movie – kudos to the movie director for this decision.
  • the movie takes the most important aspects of the book, then streamlines and condenses the story. although some sub-plots from the novel are omitted (ex: claire’s affair with gomez, claire’s relationship with her mother, dr kendrick’s involvement), nothing of significant importance is left out.
  • i recognized some dialogue in the movie as lines taken straight from the book (the scene where henry and claire first meet in the library, the lottery numbers scene) – i liked seeing a visual of what i had read in my head!
  • eric bana is perfectly cast as henry! oh, those eyes!! he was not exactly as i had pictured henry in my head while reading…but he is wonderful in the main role. claire is also capably played by rachel mcadams. for supporting characters, gomez, henry’s father and dr kendrick are also soundly and rightly cast.
  • my eye spotted several gorgeous knits! -> one sweater on henry, three on claire and a cosy blanket!
  • i’d classify the time traveler’s wife as a sweet and touching love story. it’s too dramatic to be considered a “chic flick.”
  • i loved the movie ending better than the way the story is wrapped up in the book. in the film, it’s emotional to see henry and claire have that chance to embrace one last time. and henry’s line “i don’t want you to always be waiting” is a take-away message for us: live for the now, don’t wait on the future.

in summary: if i had to recommend book or movie, i would say go for watching the movie over reading the book. this decision surprises me! usually movie adaptations are disappointing [actually, i avoid watching movies of books, so i don’t have many other examples to compare to!].

the time traveler’s wife: have you seen the movie or read the book? i give the movie *** (three stars) and the novel **1/2 (two point five stars) – but these star ratings do not reflect how much more i enjoyed the movie. i recommend the film with much greater enthusiasm!

what other movie adaptations have you seen? eat, pray, love was better in movie-form than i had expected, too!

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  • Dorry  On January 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I have not seen the movie or read the book! You may have picked up from my blog that I’m not a great reader. I can’t seem to make the time…something else always takes priority. I haven’t read The Help, but I do want to see that movie – I’ve heard such great things. And I’m glad you have a friend to borrow movies from. That’s the best! Billy has a huge collections of DVDs from his past. He doesn’t tend to buy them anymore…

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      oh, i bet billy has some real classics (and by that i mean gems from the 80s and 90s!) in his collection! i don’t make the time to read except before bed…so i don’t get very far, very fast!

  • Johanna B  On January 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I’ve neither read nor seen “Time Traveler’s Wife” but I’ve added the movie to my must watch list for this year. “Eat, Pray, Love” is also on that list, as is “The Help”. All are fine books which I have waiting but haven’t gotten to. So many books, so little time you know. I’ve watched many film adaptations of books I’ve enjoyed but the one that springs most to my mind is “Gone With the Wind”. I reread the book nearly every year and yet I adore the movie. Clark Gable is gorgeous as Rhett.

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      yes! all three of those movies are good picks, johanna! i totally hear you on the lack of time and sooo many books. ah – thanks for the reminder of gone with the wind. such a classic. i read the book as a teen and watched the movie, at some time or other. clark gable WAS the dashing man of his era!!

  • Zo  On January 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

    I haven’t seen or read Time Traveler’s Wife…I remember some of the reviews thought it was creepy when there were scenes them where he was a man and she was a girl…but don’t know much more.
    I haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love but I saw the movie. And I just saw the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I thought was a really good adaptation of the book and got rid of some of the boring bits! But, yes, usually movie adaptations are disappointing.

    • 1970kikiproject  On January 4, 2012 at 8:11 am

      eat pray love is a good example of another movie where they got rid of the boring parts. glad you enjoyed dragon tattoo girl movie, and you are speeding through that second book, eh?! in time traveler’s wife, i thought they handled the man vs girl scenes very nicely (and the book has more of these scenes) – nothing struck me as icky!

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