Review: TiMER - Quirky Rom-Com in a (Very Thin) Science Fiction Wrapper

I was worried about this independent film because I always found Anya from Buffy so annoying and didn’t think Emma Caulfield had enough range to make me forget that she was actually a reformed demon.  She pleasantly surprised me then in her starring role in TiMER, a quirky scifi-ish indie comedy. This film is barely scifi.  I mean, I’m really stretching the definition of science fiction and general geekery by including this in the blog, but the plot revolves around a simple concept – a corporation has developed an electronic timer that, once implanted in the subject’s wrist, counts down to the day they will meet their perfect soul mate.  It will even beep in synchronicity upon first meeting said soul mate, just in case you weren’t sure.

The plot is pretty straight forward.  Caulfield plays Oona, an orthodontist obsessed with her blank timer desperately wanting to find love or know that love will be finding her as she looks at her looming thirtieth birthday.  Her timer is blank because her special one and only hasn’t gotten his implant in yet so her device has nothing with which to sync up.  Her step sister, Steph, who shares her birthday, has a functional timer, but it says she won’t be meeting her soul mate until she is 42, so she spends her time having one night stands with guys reaching their “zeroing out” date.

Oona takes Steph’s example to heart and after meeting Mikey, a young checkout boy at the grocery store, begins sleeping with him as his timer counts down the four months until he’s supposed to meet his “one”.  Complications arise, misunderstandings get worked through.  All the tropes of a standard romantic comedy get checked off the list.

Don’t think too hard about the concept.  If you do, you’re head will hurt with questions like how an implant could possibly know the timing of meeting someone when meeting people is not a biological function.  Or any questions about how it the device works, really.  It’s never explained and it’s not really the point.  This is a simple romantic comedy wrapped vaguely in science fiction.  It’s not complicated though it did leave me thinking how such a device would radically change the romantic face of society if it really worked.

Rating: 3 out of 5 (nice, light entertainment after a stressful day, not even remotely a thinky movie)


Currently streaming on Netflix and available at Amazon