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REVIEW: TiMER
September 2, 2010, 6:40 am
Filed under: Reviews

Released: 2009, USA

Director: Jac Schaeffer

Starring:
Emma Caulfield
Michelle Borth
John Patrick Amedori
Desmond Harrington
JoBeth Williams

Running Time: 100min

What if there was a device that counted down to the exact day you will lock eyes with your soul mate? Would you want one and if you did get one what if it was blank?

A great premise but the film itself is as if the SyFy channel and the Oxygen network got together to make a movie and Oxygen ponied up a larger percentage of the budget. A romantic comedy with lite-sci-fi elements like Happy Accidents but unlike that film TiMER can’t or doesn’t want to escape from the usual trappings of a rom-com.

Oona (Caulfield) is an almost thirty something with a blank timer. She’s only interested in guys without timers so she can get them to an installation store and find out if they are soul mates. Her step-sister, Steph (Borth), who shares the same birthday as her also shares the same apartment. Steph’s timer is set to go off about 1,400 days from now and until then she is getting her fill of the one night stand. Oona meets Mikey (Amedori) who plays the drums in a small rock unit and works in a grocery store. He meets Oona on the job and comes off a bit too strong. Oona doesn’t mind until she sees that his timer has about four months left on it. After some inner battles Oona finally decides to pursue a one night stand with Mikey and as you guessed he doesn’t get top billing for nothing as Oona develops feelings for him and vice versa.

Throughout the film are moments easily seen scenes ahead. The timers are supposed to give some ground to the unpredictable nature of meeting a soul mate too bad the film is grounded in convention. Although the cast has many hiccups in delivery part of that can be credited to the embarrassing dialogue. At one point a character says “I’m telling you that I love you” with a straight face. Any attempts at social commentary regarding how the mechanization of society has affected even true love are negated, or moot as the film loved to use, by the overly sappy tone of the majority of the flick. It’s sad to watch these characters have a hard time following their hearts when they are slaves to the countdown, or lack thereof.

The film is trying too hard to be cute with cheesy dialogue and characterizations that try to come off as smart but only result in something as cringe inducing as the hamburger phone scene in Juno (“It’s a fucking Greek tragedy up in here.”).

Like Being John Malkovich the premise provokes a lot of what ifs. With TiMER what if the person has already met their soul mate before their timer’s installation? Can a person have more than one soul mate if they survive a loved one? What if the timers were just an electronic scam?  Unfortunately, the film decides to follow formula rather than explore some of these. For a sci-fi romance that keeps you guessing try Happy Accidents.

If Buggin’ Out Was Asian: Why does the inventor of this thing have to be Asian?

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