Eric Bana doesn’t know if he’s coming or going in this supernatural drama.
That’s because his Chicago librarian Henry has a rare genetic disorder – ‘chrono- impairment’ – that keeps lifting him out of the present and dumping him into his past or future, with no clue where he is or clothes on his back.
Henry can’t control his quantum leaps any more than Sam Beckett could, which makes it hard for him to make friends or hold down a relationship.
Miraculously, though, he does with Clare (Rachel McAdams), an artist who’s carried a torch for him ever since he first introduced himself to her when she was a little girl and whom, numerous time slips later, he eventually makes his wife.
Swallow that load of bunkum and you’ll be fine with Robert Schwentke’s glossy adap of Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 bestseller.
You might even be touched by Henry and Clare’s unconventional romance, particularly if you warmed to such previous fantastical weepies as Benjamin Button or The Lake House.
Investing totally in its wacky conceit, Ghost screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin plays things admirably straight all the way to a bittersweet conclusion that should leave no hankie unwrung.
Bana and McAdams, meanwhile, make an adorable couple, plucking the heartstrings with their soulful stares, teary embraces and photogenic looks.
Okay, so Schwentke might have allowed a little more levity to encroach upon the sombre mood or given Bana more room to profit from his curse.
(Apart from using his abilities to win the lottery he never turns them to his own advantage.) No good reason is ever offered either why Henry can’t use his time jumps to stop his beloved mom dying in the car crash that opens the movie.
Why, for example, doesn’t he alert her to her impending accident in the scene where he finds himself sharing her subway carriage some months earlier?
You’d go mad unpicking the paradoxes in this convoluted brain scrambler. (If you thought Schwentke’s Flightplan was bonkers, try this one on for size.) Better to surrender to its implausibilities and revel in the lush, sudsy silliness of it all.