Monday, December 26, 2011

REVIEW: TiMER (2009)

Director: Jac Shaeffer
Starring: Emma Caulfield, John Patrick Amedori, Michelle Borth

As far as romantic comedies go, TiMER is a creative one. The premise, about a not-too-distant future where the latest trend is tiny “timers” that tell people when they’re about to meet their soul-mate, is played so naturally that you’ll believe this is reality already. It stars Emma Caulfield as a slightly prude 30-year old whose timer still hasn’t gone off at all, much to her dismay, as everyone around her is finding love left and right. She falls in with a younger guy (John Patrick Amedori) who plays drums in a band even though he’s already got a timer counting down.

Pretty much the core of the story is the way the characters interact with each other and, in turn, with the timer devices – the film uses the science fiction concept to bring out the aspects of its characters. Emma Caulfield is pretty good, and succeeds in making us care about her, and her sister played by Michelle Borth is rambunctious and loud but also caring – an addictive personality on screen. John Patrick Amedori is Mikey, and while his character is a little generic as the whole ‘poor young college student who messes around but has a heart of gold,’ he pulls it off well.

This is a film about relationships, and while it won’t appeal to some people, it really is a very smart and well-balanced film. TiMER talks clearly about the choices people make in relationships and how we can’t always know who’s right for us. The concept is used in a very Vonnegut-esque manner, taking a concept and exaggerating it to a ridiculous degree, to illustrate the eerie possibility of where we’re going. The world right now is obsessed with doing things more efficiently, doing them faster. How long is it before we allow our relationships with other people to be computerized and made super-efficient? Trial-and-error dating is costly and ineffective – or that’s what the movie says, anyway.

TiMER begs the question, what if the person scientifically and biologically calculated to be your soulmate isn’t really the one you want to spend time with? All the science in the world can’t destroy the strange and illogical fallacies and labyrinthine eccentricities of the heart.