Last night, J and I finally went to see The Time Traveler’s Wife at the Galaxy cinema. We had read the book five years ago; J in our first apartment, and I during a Christmas trip to England. At the time, the book was fantastic. It is on my list of scheduled re-reads.
The books relies on a central conceit – the time travelling – that one must simply accept. Once disbelief is properly suspended, the time-travelling metaphor works wonders in subsequently illuminating the human experience. In particular, relationships between couples (and maybe especially men and women), relationships with friends and family, our experience of memory, and our struggles with life and death. It is a relatively simple and straightforward story and brilliantly makes the reader consider the narrative of their own life.
The film version does an effective job of recapturing this. The plot is plainer, but with the added tools available in the cinema, the same emotions and understandings are properly evoked.
This was a difficult movie to watch for me. Seeing birth and death so vividly portrayed and distilled into visceral narrative essences while I am still struggling with understanding the recent passing of my father and the imminent arrival of my first-born child left me feeling hopeless and lost in spite of my usual stoic resolution with the universe.
But this morning the shadow has passed.
And I was thinking also about how often J and I will be going to the movies a year from now. I can recall many parents bemoaning their lack of ‘date-nights’ and other personal/couple outings. Will this be us too? Will we care if it is?