Tuesday, June 1, 2010

TiMER - (2009/2010)


Emma Caufield whose probably best known for playing Xander's centuries-old demon-turned youthful girlfriend on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, stars in this off-beat romantic dramedy about a society that allows people to get a "timer" inserted onto the inside of their arm. What the timer is supposed to do, is countdown to zero and then within 24 hours you are supposed to meet your soul-mate who also has a timer that has counted down to zero. Within 24 hours you meet them (randomly somehow) and a beeping occurs, letting you know you made contact with them.

Okay, kind of interesting concept. A bit like computer dating in a way. You let some piece of technology let you know who you will love.

But beyond that, there isn't a ton we get to find out about how or why this supposedly works. What is explored beyond that is a character study of relationships. A woman named Oona (Caufield Una Panoona..lol Eddie Murphy SNL, I just had to include this :p) and her sister Steph (Michelle Borth) unlike most of their friends/family and people they see in public; have not had their timers start counting down. Even their newly eligible 14 year old brother has one that only takes him within a few days before he meets his supposed soul-mate. Oona one evening meets a guy named Mikey who works at a grocery store. He has a timer too that is counting down, unlike her and her sister. She ends up hooking up with him despite that fact, figuring what's the harm. It's casual and consensual.

After enjoying his company for a little while past a 1-night stand, Oona and Mikey begin to question the status of their relationship. Then we then find out his timer is a fake. He doesn't believe in them. That is kind of hard for her to take, but like many romantic stories, it doesn't ultimately end up killing their relationship.

Then one day, Oona and her sister want their timers taken off. And when they go to the service to do so, Oona's timer magically starts to countdown after possibly years of being blank. The man her sister is interested at the time also ends up getting a timer at that point, and it matches Oona up with him to create a confused romantic triangle that doesn't seem logical.

The story ends much like your typical Hollywood happy ending. And that among a couple of other parts, namely the lack of explanation behind the timers, are what make this movie more underwhelming than I hoped. I would say, for a movie under the radar, it's not horrible, especially with Caufield and her mother played by Jo Beth Williams. But for the premise, lack of explanation, and a movie that won awards at some of the film festivals, it appears to be somewhat over-rated by those folks.

It has the lite feel of a movie like "Outsourced." Budget-wise as well. Quite b-movie in tone and visuals.

The premise reminds me of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" or even "Broken English" (Parker Posey movie where all her friends are not single, but she is in her mid 30's). But unfortunately the writing isn't close to the caliber of either of those pictures. So, I would recommend seeing those movies before catching this.