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Time-Traveling Romance

by on March 25, 2013

Readers’ advisory doesn’t just apply to making book suggestions. All media formats should be considered when looking for links between titles. This mixing of media is called whole collection readers advisory and is a great way to not only expand individual knowledge of connections between titles but can also be a way to highlight backlist titles in the collection.

During Valentine’s Day week I noticed two movies which were being broadcast on cable television; The Time Traveler’s Wife and Tuck Everlasting. Each was romantic but interestingly they both also dealt with a relation to time, either time travel or love over a long period of time, i.e. immortality. This had me thinking of other films which included both of these aspects. I quickly came up with a list of film titles and most of which are based on a novel or short story.

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) stars Eric Bana as Henry and Rachel McAdams as Clare and is based on the novel by Audrey Niffenegger.  Clare falls passionately in love with Henry who is inflicted with the uncontrollable ability to travel through time. This is a love story about two people dealing with an almost impossible situation, who marry and eventually have a child. It explores not only romantic, paternal, and filial love but also the enduring love between friends. Tuck Everlasting (2002) is based on the 1975 classic children’s fantasy novel by Natalie Babbitt. The film stars Jonathan Jackson as Jesse Tuck and Alexis Bledel as Winnie Foster. The story revolves around the romance between the two young people and Winnie’s discovery of the Tuck family secret. Many years ago the family members drank from a spring which made them immortal but immortality can have a terrible cost when it comes to love. Themes of romantic, paternal, filial, and sibling love are all explored.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) deals with maternal and romantic love and concerns an abandoned new-born baby adopted and raised by a kind-hearted black woman. The child ages backwards, meeting the love of his life when she is a child and he is an old man. The story follows Benjamin throughout his life and how he eventually reconnects with Daisy when they are approximately the same age. Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin Button with Cate Blanchett portraying Daisy and the plot is taken from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Lake House (2006) stars Keanu Reeves as Alex Wyler and Sandra Bullock as Kate Forster and is not based on a book or short story. The story deals with the unlikely romance over time between individuals living in the same house but occupying it two years apart. Alex and Kate communicate through letters posted in their shared mailbox, develop a friendship, and then fall in love. They soon realize the problem with their relationship but still hope they can find a way to be together at the same time.

Somewhere in Time (1980) is based on a novel by Richard Matheson, originally titled Bid Time Return.  This very romantic film stars Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour as the time-displaced lovers Richard Collier and Elise McKenna. It relates the story of 1980s playwright, Richard, trying to ‘come back to …” the love of his life, Elise, a famous young, stage actress from the early 1900’s. He falls in love with her picture while staying at a turn-of-the-century hotel and is determined to travel back in time to meet her.

There are two other films which may meet the timely romance criteria: Time After Time (1979) and Highlander (1986). Although both are more action adventure movies, each also has at its heart a romance between two main characters.  Neither movie is based on a book but a novelization of Highlander from the original screenplay by Gregory Widen was released later.

Time After Time follows H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) as he uses his time machine to travel from 1893 London to 1979 San Francisco in order to stop Jack the Ripper from killing, among others, a young woman name Amy Robbins (Mary Steenburgen). Highlander centers on a Scottish highlander named Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) who lost the love of his life shortly after becoming immortal in 1518. He  spends the next 465 years fighting other immortals for an unknown ‘prize’ and looking for someone to replace his beloved, bonnie Heather.

For your readers or viewers who enjoy romance with a timely twist you may want to consider these suggestions which cross between media formats. Are there other movie titles which might be included on this list?


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