Its tough being an accidental time traveller. Well, not that tough. Your biggest problem appears to be getting hold of some new clothes, though considering that in The Time Travellers Wife the average timeslip seems to be for about five minutes it seems unclear why all the breaking and entering is going on. Unless that is what turns our time traveller on. Which, it appears, seems to be the whole point of time travelling – just surviving. There are glib asides to the immutability of causality, though these rules are vaguely broken when necessary. There are moments when the twisting storylines leave you with various ages of Eric Bana, which should be annoying for his wife, but doesn’t seem to be. In general the film of the Time Travellers Wife manages to explain how odd it would be to marry someone who accidentally slipped in time every now and then, it just doesn’t really convince that this story is taking place in anything but its own storybook universe. Which is clearly a pity, as there are a lot of good ideas in here, which almost come to fruition at the end, with time travel as a metaphor for memory. But it should all be so much better. Where is the sense of wonder and excitement of time travelling?

It is in many ways a very different story to the one I imagined. I had seen the book around a lot but it had never really attracted me. But the jacket blurb mentions the non-sequential aspect of the relationship and the dropping in and out of the lead. What I imagined were large stretches of singlehood for the wife, and long periods of time travel. Instead the film presents a relatively conventional courtship, with the exception that the bride instigates and starts the relationship from what she has been told to do by a later version of him. Whilst the film wants you to be intrigued or confused by its stabs at tangled time tale telling, it is always rather simple with the good bits clearly remaining good from the book. But he is never seen working after the film starts, she has one of those “film jobs” (she is an artist). We get the lottery winning, which marks it out from the average time travel film, but it all seems rather inconsequential. A perfectly OK film, with something a lot better and more thought provoking (and funnier) hiding beneath.