What if you could be signaled the very minute you made eye contact with your soul mate for the first time—not in a wholly biological way, that is. What if there was technology, a timer, that could be implanted into your wrist that counts down the days : hours : minutes : seconds until the day you are to meet your soul mate? And what if, when your eyes met, an alarm in said timer chimed a loud reassuring yes (or a terrifying yes)?

In TiMER such technology exists. It is fairly new, but has rapidly become a raging success, proving an accuracy too good to pass up. Unfortunately for Oona (Emma Caulfield) her TiMER has yet too show a time. Her soul mate hasn’t had his or her TiMER installed and the film begins with her dragging her 1 month relationship into a shop to remedy the problem of his “virgin wrist.” When that doesn’t turn out well (again), she is near the end of her rope, and a series of conflicts send her over the edge and into a heated affair with a younger man who has 4 months left of waiting for his “one.”

(upper l) Michelle Borth (Steph), Desmond Harrington (Dan), John Patrick Amedori (Mikey), Emma Caulfield (Oona), and Writer/Director Jac Schaeffer.

Jac Schaeffer writes and directs her way through 99 minutes exploring via multiple characters and cleverly plotted scenarios questions like : If you could know who your soul mate was, would you? And what effects does the knowing and not knowing have on your life? What is the guarantee worth and how does it affect your behavior? There are several combinations, choices, outcomes, and intersections; some predictable, many often painful; all interwoven into a highly palatable story.

TiMER is Streaming on Netflix (presently) and I believe it makes many “favorites of sci-fi” lists. It is a wonderful romantic film, quirky indie comedy, and family drama embraced by the science fiction that is quickly (and not necessarily satisfactorily explained) during the opening credits. The music in the film is charming; some of the repetitive elements (Oona waiting here and there,  or running circles) and the sharp wit (via the step-sister Steph) as well. I couldn’t say much about the film wows, except for the agility in the writing and the smooth delivery. The acting is good, the characters engaging (if not sometimes bitchy or coarse), the story entertaining, and the discussions after worth a bottle of wine with friends and/or your significant other.


*you’ll note that the MPAA rating for the film is R, there is coarse language and sexual content.  If you’ve an audience member younger than 15-16, I would suggest screening.

TiMER (2009)

written and directed by Jac Schaeffer.

Produced by Jennifer Glynn, Rikki Jarrett, Jac Schaeffer

Editing by Peter Samet

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

Music by Andrew Kaiser

Cinematography : Harris Charalambous

Running Time 99 minutes.

Rated R for language.

wiki page. IMDb link

Neil Genzlinger’s NY Times Review.

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

8 thoughts on “TiMER

  1. so the reason i originally added this to our queue was the presence of Emma Caulfield. i enjoyed her bunny-phobic post-demonic Anya character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer all those years ago and thought that at least i could give the movie a go from that viewpoint.

    because i had so little expectation the movie was a pleasant surprise…

  2. The fact that Anya, erm, Emma Caulfield stars in this is persuasive enough. Sure, the plot sounds interesting and all, but truly I’ve a softspot for people that Whedon uses.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Glad to hear it is a fun film. I added it to my queue recently but haven’t gotten around to watching it. Emma Caulfied is a big draw though, I’ve enjoyed her in other films that I’ve seen.

    Unlike some science fiction fans, I am more than okay with the “science” in science fiction films being implausible or poorly explained if the film is entertaining and I can engage with the characters, so that part won’t bother me in the least bit.

  4. sounds like this post could have been so much shorter, i.e. “I’ve seen a film with (Anya) Emma Caulfield. It’s called TiMER. Have you seen it?” lol

    I had no idea who she is/was. 🙂

    1. Gahahaha… True. I only recognized her because Anya was one of the funniest characters in the Buffyverse. Her sense of humor was dark and twisted (on account of her having been a demon), and I loved it.

      TiMER reminds me of another classic sci-fi film favorite: Primer. Have you and Sean watched this? It’s absolutely nothing like TiMER, but the titles rhyme, see, and that’s where my mind goes. If not, you all should definitely add it to the DVD queue (if you still have that cursed thing).

      1. Primer is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO freaking good. i loved it… L. less so, though i don’t think she had any direct issues with it. i loved how low tech it was for a sci-fi. the brilliance of the twisted knot of timelines was so much fun trying to untie. there is a guy (who i ran across via google) who had worked it out as few as 5 time loops and i think as many as 20+… he was working to figure out how the story really worked.

        1. I think I came across that timeline before. There’s all kinds of theories on that film. And I think part of its beauty is how low-tech and indie it is. Simple, yet brilliant. You’re right, Sean. Primer is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO freaking good.

          Have you seen the xkcd comic about movie timelines? Randall Munroe’s take is (as always) humorous.

  5. LOL, that is true! I don’t know her all that much other than seeing her in some bit parts, but I liked her. She’s more familiar to me just from seeing her picture around.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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