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#178. Rachel McAdams

Prolific actors are usually noticed for this trait near the end of their career. If they’ve been in a single movie every year they have been acting, suddenly 40 years of acting turns into a resume of 40 films. But what about those actors who act in more than one film a year? Movies don’t take quite the commitment like they used to, so it could be feasible to appear in up to five films in a year. It’s these actors who are more impressive, as it requires an amount of time management to coordinate between different filming schedules. What’s even more impressive are the actors who do two films a year, and manage to do enough research for their roles to show their skill as an actor. Rachel McAdams is just such an actress. For the last ten years, she’s averaged about two films a year, even including a brief hiatus in 2006. This week’s two films look at Rachel McAdams’ career on either side of her 2006 break.

The Time Traveler’s WifeThe Time Traveler's Wife
Year: 2009
Rating: PG-13
Length: 107 minutes / 1.78 hours

In 2009, a few years after taking some time off to gather her thoughts, Rachel McAdams was once again in the spotlight with some high-budget blockbusters. Aside from a supporting role in Sherlock Holmes, she starred across Eric Bana in the film adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife as the titular character. What is interesting to note here is that she would play the fiancée of a time traveler two years later in the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris (2011). While the time travelling was performed in different ways in each film, McAdams’ roles were drastically different as well. In the latter film, she was an angry, controlling woman who had an affair with a snobby know-it-all, whereas in The Time Traveler’s Wife, she’s a loving and dedicated spouse to a man with a strange medical condition.

As a young girl, Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams) was visited by a man who told her that he would visit her again in the future, because he had actually travelled backward in time. With each visit, the man is a different age, but that doesn’t stop their friendship from growing. When she turned 18, she realizes that her relationship transcends into a romantic one when he kisses her for the first time. Now 20 years old, Clare runs into Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) in the library in which he works. While she is bubbling up with excitement for having met her old friend, this is actually the first time he has met her. Even so, they start their romantic relationship, which is difficult at times due to the sporadic nature of Henry’s time travelling. Tragedy and joy abound as they live their lives together, connected by love through time and space.

The NotebookThe Notebook
Year: 2004
Rating: PG-13
Length: 123 minutes / 2.05 hours

Two years after her first roles in film, Rachel McAdams hit it big with two 2004 films: Mean Girls and The Notebook. While these two films are drastically different in genre, they propelled McAdams into stardom as an up-and-coming actress. Even though both films are well known, she is perhaps better known for her role in the Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation, The Notebook. In fact, even though her name is almost synonymous with the romantic genre, she has only acted in a few romantic dramas. One of the other films in this genre was The Vow (2012), a true story about two newlyweds who were in an accident which caused McAdams’ character to lose all memories of her relationship with her new husband. Once again, this is a bit of a repeat of the plot of The Notebook, which involves memory loss, albeit due to old age.

The eponymous notebook belongs to an elderly man named Duke, who is reading it to a female patient in a modern nursing home. The story inside is that of forbidden love between the rich Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) and the lowly country boy, Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling). While they have a love affair during the summer of 1940, her parents forbid her from seeing him, since his class status is beneath them. When they move away, Noah writes to Allie, but to no avail. Time goes on and World War II provides Allie an opportunity to meet a rich southern man, Lon Hammond, Jr. (James Marsden), to whom she becomes engaged. However, she reads in the newspaper about Noah and his restoration of the house he promised they’d live in. This causes her to visit and learn that he still has feelings for her, and it was her mother preventing his letters getting to her. Now she must choose between her fiancé and her first love.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 memorable McAdams roles

Bacon #: 2 (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows / Lasco Atkins -> X-Men: First Class / Kevin Bacon)

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One response to “#178. Rachel McAdams

  1. Pingback: End of Act Four | Cinema Connections

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