While sex and science fiction may make for strange bedfellows in a movie, first time writer/director Jac Schaeffer is into taking up this peculiar but intriguing hybrid challenge, with TiMER. A film about perfecting product predictability in romance, with a consumer society already fixated on a warranty for nearly everything else in life, TiMER may come off as a little narratively contrived. But there are enough messy affairs of the heart at work here to keep the balance between these disparate elements decidedly on the human side.
Emma Caulfield is Oona, a glum thirty year old orthodontist in a future time still familiar enough to resemble the present, who like most of the population has opted to be fitted with the timer. It’s a novel implanted invention that will indicate the moment you’re in the vicinity of the only person on earth you can ever be destined to love forever. In other words, any other blooming romance no matter how passionate, is inevitably doomed.
The problem is that while many around her are being paired in strange odd couple relationships, Oona is watching life pass her by since nobody is lighting her fire, or rather timer. So after a chance encounter with Mikey (John Patrick Amedori), a smitten youth and aspiring rock musician barely out of his teens who works in a supermarket, a frustrated Oona just goes for it, even though he’s not on her destiny meter.
TiMER does clock in with many humorous when not outright touching moments to spare, while shedding satirical light on certainty itself as the ultimate commodity. But there are a few serious lapses in logic. For instance, is there really only a single person on earth the timer owner can count on, literally and figuratively. And out of the entire planet, why do these perfect matches happen to all live in the same neighborhood?
And while we’re on the subject of inevitability in love, why is that hardly ever a possibility as far as movie mating goes, when it comes to the older woman/younger man thing. Okay, so the woman in question may be more successful and better educated. But that’s never stopped a guy no matter how old, from turning down a younger woman onscreen, with or without a timing device to sour a relationship in a movie.
2 1/2 stars