Saturday, April 9, 2011

TiMER (2009)

It's rare to find a movie where romance is done right. Even more rare to find one where romance is examined as much as it is experienced. So it seems we've found the perfect word to describe TiMER, a romantic comedy starring Emma Caulfield (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame), and written, produced, and directed by first timer Jac Schaeffer.

Caulfield stars as Oona O'leary, a 29 year-old woman who's still waiting to meet Mr. Right. But in her contemporary world there exists a thing called the TiMER, a small device implanted at the wrist that counts down until the day you and your potential soul-mate will first meet. While some people find they have decades until their love arrives, and others mere hours, Oona's TiMER is blank- and has been for years.

I'm tempted to call this movie ambitious for the way it pays more attention to it's characters than most movies with romance at their core. Schaeffer's script is not only interested in, but designed for examining love- rather than just chasing it at a flat out sprint. Then I realize that it's not ambitious to do something right, it's just seldom seen and therefore all the more enjoyable. In 99 minutes of honest storytelling TiMER creates more interesting and human characters then 99% of the candy-coated Katherine Heigl romance movies that are released every year.

Though far from a morality tale, TiMER brings a meaningful message about what's more important than finding love, one rarely seen on the silver screen. It's scenes occasionally struggle with internal pacing, but overall it shines- especially for a first effort. It's sense of humor is cute without being cutesy, it's sense of drama as assertive, not aggressive. Sprinkle in the occasional soundtrack gag and you've got a winner. Jac Schaeffer's TiMER is well worth a movie night, and I can only hope he makes more gems like this as follow ups.