Unwilling time traveler Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) has a genetic anomaly (not mechanical or quantum) which keeps moving him to different periods in his life before eventually returning back to his present time, a few days to several weeks later.
Henry’s subconscious, however, does seem to gravitate towards places charged with the most meaning for him, particularly the garden where he meets his wife to be Clare (Rachel McAdams) when she was just 6 years old. This is the first time Clare meets Henry but, in his chronology, Henry meets Clare for the first time in a library when he’s 28, by which time she’s a 20 year old art student who has known Henry for most of her life.
The two then get married in the present, with Henry’s unpredictable and inconvenient time traveling episodes subsequently leading to various frustrations for the couple as he continues to live his life out of chronological sequence.
Despite the obvious potential for confusion, the story is actually a poignantly simple one to follow with both Bana and McAdams putting in vibrant and beautiful performances. The Time Traveler’s Wife is also an entertaining and welcome addition to the romantic time travel genre, which includes such gems as Somewhere in Time (1980),The Butterfly Effect (2004), Deja Vu (2006) and Midnight in Paris (2011).