‘About Time’ versus ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’

Watched ‘About Time’ the other day, the movie that’s very similar to the movie adaptation of ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’. They even used the same lead actress, Rachel McAdams. However, that’s really all the similarities. In ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, the main character can’t control when he time travels and thus calls it a disabililty, being ‘chrono-impaired’ resulting in a much more depressive film where he dies in the end whereas in ‘About Time’, the main character can control it and uses it to his advantage to alter awkward situations. Some other differences are in ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, his wife knows about the time travel while in ‘About Time’, his wife doesn’t. So really, there’s much more differences than similarities between both films. I found this a much more enjoyable film and the scene where after knowing the father was going to die and be gone forever, father and son went back in time to relive their memory of walking down the beach together when the son was a small boy, that scene made me feel like crying. Also, most critics mainly gave it a lower rating because of the inconsistencies they say about the rules set at the start versus what happens towards the end, I however disagreed as I see there to be no inconsistency. I’ll explain them below.

1. The rule where only male members of the family can travel through time is supposedly broken when Tim brings along his sister through time. I feel that the rule just implies that only the male members can travel through time by themselves voluntarily. It doesn’t say anything about not being able to bring along someone if the male member was the one controlling the travel.

2. The second rule that only backwards travel in time is possible is supposedly broken several times when Tim travels back and then forwards back to his present. I feel the rule only refers to not being able to travel to the future from the present, ie the furthest you can travel forward to is your original ‘present time’. Thus, when Tim travels back in time and then forward again each time, he returns back to the present he initially came from and not to some unknown future, which means that no rule is broken.

3. The last rule states that travelling back to a time before your child is born will cause a different child to be born and the original child will be lost. This rule is supposedly broken in the ending scenes where Tim travels back in time together with his father, all the way to his own childhood, which was of course way past the birth of his children. I feel that this rule is essentially not broken since they did not go back in time to change anything, all they did was to relive (basically re-do) Tim’s memory of going to the beach together with his father, which was something that originally already did happen. This was why his father said they have to be very careful in order not to break any rule before they went back in time. Since nothing was changed, their children would still have been born the same way.

All in all, this being a romantic comedy versus the science-fiction romance of ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, this was a happier, funnier and more enjoyable film than ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’.

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