TiMER (2010)


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Life doesn't offer many guarantees, but in the alternate universe of writer-director Jac Schaeffer's feature debut, the romantic comedy TiMER, people can get a digital clock implanted on their wrist that counts down to the second they meet "the one." It even sounds a little alarm the first time two soul mates look into each other's eyes. The device is not working too well for Oona (Emma Caulfield, who played Anya on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), because her TiMER is blank. That means her soul mate, whoever he is, hasn't yet signed up for the service. So Oona dates guys without TiMERs, and forces them to get the implant if the relationship looks promising. But so far, no dice. Oona's twentysomething half sister, Steph (Michelle Borth), is also unlucky. Her TiMER tells her she won't meet Mr. Right for about 20 more years. While Steph sows her wild oats, resigned not to commit to a relationship, Oona, approaching 30, obsesses over her TiMER. Oona meets a cute younger guy working at the local supermarket, but Mikey (John Patrick Amedori of Gossip Girl) already has a TiMER, and it's set to go off in a few months. "Life is about detours," he tells her, but Oona's not convinced. Meanwhile, Steph meets dashing and TiMER-less Dan (Desmond Harrington, also of Gossip Girl). Dan is interested in Steph, but she knows he's not "the one" for her, so she tries to set him up with Oona. Timer also features JoBeth Williams as Oona's mom. The film had its world premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, and was shown on demand in conjunction with the 2010 festival at the time of its theatrical release. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for TiMER

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

Some of Ms. Schaeffer's plot twists are easy to guess, but everyone's enjoyable to watch.

May 14, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5

TiMER never rises above the level of a sitcom. All that's missing is the laugh track.

May 14, 2010 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

The lukewarm female talk occasionally grates and the men are portrayed as mind-numbingly simplistic, but on the whole this cyber-Cupid exercise is surprisingly affecting.

May 12, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Make time for this one.

Apr 29, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

A romcom is a romcom, however, and at least this one's more charming than most of Jennifer Aniston's career.

Apr 29, 2010 | Full Review…

A romantic comedy (with a dash of science fiction) that will certainly appeal to single women, the film is very original in concept, if not so much in execution.

May 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for TiMER

"What's the point in continuing without a guarantee?" A device that tells you the exact amount of time it will be until you meet your soulmate seems to be the perfect answer for heartbreak and uncertainty, but it only causes problems for Oona, who has yet to have her timer begin to count down (because the person she is meant to be with, whoever they may be, has yet to get one). This frustration and loneliness leads her to begin a casual relationship with a young man whose timer countdown is set to end in just a few months. A fairly interesting tale unravels from this setup, that brings up questions of destiny and what's better, the person who is right for us or the person we choose. A novel premise and thoughtful script from a modern romantic drama? AND a likable protagonist that's not the same caricature we've seen a thousand times (Emma Caulfield gets total credit for pulling that off)? I genuinely liked TiMER, for those reasons and others. This isn't my usual kind of movie, but it's so well made that I enjoyed it. Genre fans will like it even more.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

Charming. Cute. Enjoyable.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Genuinely sweet and irrevocably well plotted, Timer is one of those indie comedies that get you unlike its big budgeted star studded counterparts. The impressive Emma Caulfield (Buffy) takes the lead in a future where timers tell you when you will meet your soul mate. The film is made up of well placed humor, superb performances, even of the supporting actors, and a premise that not only has promise but holds water throughout. There are many twists and turns, completely unforeseeable from the trailer and descriptions of the film. It's not a sci-fi film by any means, substituting any futuristic inquiries for more of a parallel universe or fantasy world, completely believable if you have willing suspense of disbelief. There were laugh out loud moments and heartbreaking ones, technology's stance overwhelming the main character, which is relatable as a thirty-something whose biological clock ticks in synchronicity with the timer on her wrist. With an intriguing subplot and room for our own interpretation of the ending, TiMER only disappoints the crowd with their own conceptions of how this film should end. Many people wanted romantic fluff, but TiMER is beyond its parameters of what a usual indie comedy allows, and therefore is not for the feeble of heart.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Very original idea for a romantic comedy. Enjoyed this. Cannot understand the reviews saying it was boring! I guess if you are bored by romantic comedies in general, then watching this is not going to do a lot for you, but if you tend to like them, this is an excellent one! The story here is that they have invented a timer bracelet which can tell you the exact moment you meet "the one" and exactly how long you have to wait in hours and days before that happens. Oona, played nicely by Emma Caulfield, is nearly 30, and hers is yet to register any numbers at all. Either meaning there is no "the one" for her, or he is yet to have the bracelet implanted. She becomes involved with the much younger Mikey, (John Patrick Amedori), who is a check out guy at a supermarket and also plays in an unsuccessful rock band. The two of them really look nice together, age difference be damned, could hardly blame her for falling for him. Mikey has the bracelet, but is registering a time four months down the track, meaning Oona is not his destined one. I don't want to spoil this by giving too much away, but this was a really intelligent and interesting little rom com. I was a little disappointed by the ending, you will understand what I mean once you have seen it, but it did appear to have a happy ending of sorts and you get the impression all works out okay. Not the way I was hoping it would go, but nevertheless, not a bad outcome.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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