Sunday, February 27, 2011


Spoiler Level: Medium

You gotta love Sci-Fi Chick Flicks.

What drew me to TiMER is that it's a "what if" story; around twenty years ago or so, a company invented a device that, when implanted, counts down to when you're going to meet your one true love.  There's a brief explanation given on how it can tell based on body heat or something, but the point isn't really about how a TiMER works; the point is how such an invention changes the world.

For your TiMER to work, your one true love (generally referred to by people simply as your One) also has to have a TiMER implanted; once you both have one, it starts counting down.  The TiMER will reach zero at midnight before the day you're going to meet; then, at some point during the next 24 hours, you'll meet him or her, and when you do both your TiMERs will make a matching chime.  So now you both know.  It literally takes the guess work out of relationships.  Divorce is a thing of the past.

The story itself follows two step sisters, Oona and Steph.  Steph's TiMER says she won't meet her true love for another 17 years, while Oona's TiMER is nothing but blinking dashes.  Apparently, her One still hasn't gotten his TiMER.  At least, that's what she hopes; the only other alternative is that she'll never have a true love.  As a result, neither one sees the point in getting involved in a relationship that's not going to work.  Steph spends her time having one night stands, and Oona spends her time dating any TiMERless man she can find no matter how disinterested she is in them, in the hopes that one of them will turn out to be her One.

And the reasons why some of the men are TiMERless is part of what makes the movie so fascinating.  Relationships are at the core of our society, and now that the TiMER will let you know who your relationship is going to be with, every facet of how society functions has changed.  People hold giant parties on their zero day, often with the attitude that their One is going to be at that party.  And while no one gets divorced anymore, the number of casual encounters is way up, because people don't see the point in investing themselves in a relationship that they know won't last.  And what of all the children of divorced parents?  Oona's mother is divorced and remarried to her One, and Oona astutely points out that if her parents had known that they weren't going to be each other's One, she would never have been born. 

The romantic story is great just for that reason; like all good SF stories, TiMER uses science to hold a mirror up to our own society and really examine why we do the things we do; in this case, why we sometimes fall in love with the wrong person, and how that could still be just as important as finding the right person.

The world could use more Sci-Fi Chick Flicks.

TiMER is currently available on Netflix Instant View, and probably lots of other On-Demand services as well.  Support independent films and check in to this one.


American Narada said...

This one is *finally* next up in my Netflix queue. But first, another sci-fi film -- NEVER LET ME GO...
"Based on Kazuo Ishiguro's acclaimed novel, this sci-fi drama from director Mark Romanek is centered on thirtysomething Kathy (Carey Mulligan), who reflects on her time spent at Hailsham, an English boarding school, alongside classmates Ruth (Keira Knightley) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield). Born for an unusual reason, the three struggle with their destiny and their love triangle..."

Fer said...

Sounds good! Let me know if you like NEVER LET ME GO, I'll probably check it out too. Hope you enjoy TIMER!