During the school year, the regular evening routine for me has been come home, make dinner, collapse. In summer, I get to do other things, such as watch movies. I use the Netflix "Play Instantly" option and don't fuss with DVDs, mostly. It means I don't get to see some of the most popular movies. But I also find hidden little gems like "TiMER."
"TiMER" is a independent romantic comedy starring no one you ever heard of. On IMDb.com, the rating of 6.5 was determined by less than 200 votes. 4 people have reviewed it. But if someone like Cameron Diaz had played the lead, I think it would've gone through the roof.
Very quick synopsis: in an alternative near-future, a company discovers a scientific way of guaranteeing the time you will find your soulmate. The company, TiMER, installs a device like a bracelet onto your wrist. If your soulmate also has a device installed, the "timer" then immediately computes the day you will meet your soulmate, and begins counting down on the device's readout.
I love alternative worlds. I began creating them when I was 9 or 10. You have to think of every detail to make your world believable. If, in your world, you have flying horses, how does that affect that world? Does everyone have a flying horse? Are they in zoos? Do countries use a flying horse as the symbol of their nation?
That same spirit is in "TiMER." The device, which really does work, goes viral in its world, and everyone's outlook on life is completely changed. New ethical questions come up, new ways of defining one's personhood, one's stance towards love and romance. Would you get one? is probably the most basic.
The actors, director and script all do a really fine job creating this world. It feels genuine, even if the Southern California setting encourages you to think everyone and everything is fake. You find yourself wondering what you would do in their place. And you do a lot of laughing at some pretty clever lines.
The blonde, brown-eyed Emma Caulfield ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") as Oona does a great Cameron Diaz imitation. She looks like a cross between the late Natasha Richardson, the wife of the president of the local university, and my haircutter, all of whom have a beauty that goes much more than skin-deep. This is good, because Emma has a thousand close-ups, making the movie quite a pleasure to watch.
Michelle Borth plays Oona's stepsister, Steph. She is a completely different type, a tall model-like brunette, with a sharp mouth and hidden tenderness. Well done, both.
The men? I guess if you like really young, long-haired, smart-mouthed musicians, you will like John Patrick Amedori's Mikey. And there is also the warm and handsome Desmond Harrington as Dan, who says the right things in polished rom-com manner. Good job, guys.
The director is Jac Schaeffer, who according to IMDb.com is a woman. I guess I should've known based on the lack of the "k." It is Jac's first feature film as director. Keep an eye on this one.
One thing: be forewarned that the language and situations are for grown-ups. It's certainly an R for language and adult situations, but its heart is absolutely true blue.