The trailer for the long-delayed Rachel McAdams-Eric Bana weepie The TimeTraveler’s Wife has finally surfaced, and it essentially looks like The Notebook crossed with Benjamin Button. Something else about it struck me as well: This is the first time Rachel McAdams has been front-and-center in a movie in forever.

It wasn’t that long ago (2005, to be exact) when it seemed McAdams was destined to be one of the biggest stars on the planet. She had back-to-back mega-successes Mean Girls, The Notebook, and Wedding Crashers. Even her lower-profile flicks like Red Eye and The Family Stone found sizable audiences. So what did she do to capitalize on that momentum? Well…not a whole lot. She took two years off, and then returned for smaller parts in two little-seen, lukewarmly reviewed indies (Married Life and The Lucky Ones). She was in State of Play earlier this year, but in more of a supporting role.

I understand and respect her decision to shy away from the spotlight and take time off. But I also wonder if by doing so she let her moment pass her by. Hollywood is fickle. Actresses are deemed to be “the next big thing” every day. When that happens, there really has to be a sense of urgency to strike while the iron is hot and land those high-profile roles. So McAdams didn’t want to be the next Julia Roberts or Reese Witherspoon. Fine. She could have at least found an interesting and challenging lead role in a smaller indie film, like what Anne Hathaway did (superbly) with Rachel Getting Married.

That said, McAdams is just 30 years old. She’s got plenty of time ahead of her. And in a day and age when overexposure stalls/kills careers left and right (look no further than her Sherlock Holmes costar Jude Law), I am glad she is something of a mystery. I just hope her career is still on the incline. Much seems to be riding on the success of The Time Traveler’s Wife. (She’s also got Sherlock Holmes this Christmas, but that’s not necessarily her movie, either.)

What are your feelings on Rachel McAdams, PopWatchers? Are you ready to welcome her back? Do you also wish her career had turned out a little differently? And are you planning on The Time Traveler’s Wife? Watch the trailer and share your thoughts on all accounts.

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