Monday, May 17, 2010

TiMER (Movie Review)

TiMER is a fresh and fun Indie film where the technology exists (TiMERs) to show people the numbers of days, hours, minutes and seconds until they will meet their soul mate. The film is ostensibly a romantic comedy but it resists easy categorization and at times feels as much like a drama or a science fiction film as it does a romantic comedy.

We learn about TiMERs through two sisters -- Oona (Emma Caulfield) and Steph (Michelle Borth) -- who approach dating and relationships in large part based on the readouts of their TiMERs. For example, Steph knows that she won't meet her soul mate for many years, so she is casual in her encounters and resists intimacy. Oona's TiMER is blank, which indicates that her soul mate hasn't installed a TiMER yet, and the impasse leaves her frustrated and impatient for her one to emerge.

In this state, Oona departs from her calibrated routine and begins a relationship with a younger man. The change and excitement wake Oona up, and she finds herself enjoying her life and not fixated on her TiMER and romantic destiny. This continues until Oona's TiMER comes on and when she learns that her soul mate is not the young man she's been seeing.

The climactic tension is appropriate to the plot and conceit of the film, but the movie doesn't establish a path for defying the TiMER. In the world of the film, TiMERs are always right and what's interesting and compelling are the complications and relationships that emerge because of the devices, and not the prospect that the technology might be faulty. In this sense, knowing the exact moment when your soul mate will arrive in your life is not unlike knowing the day when you'll die. Such fore-knowledge would change so much about how we behave.

Overall, TiMER is a good, enjoyable film with solid performances from Emma Caulfield and Michelle Borth. I hope to see more of them in future films.

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