Movie Review: Timer – 2009 – directed by Jac Schaeffer

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Romance
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

If you could have a clock that counts down to exact moment when you’ll meet your soul mate, would you want to?

This is the premise of the stunning directorial debut from Jay Schaeffer and what an interesting premise it is. The film is set in a very near future where scientists have developed a timer (the timer of the title) that once installed into a person’s wrist, will say exactly how long it will be before they meets their true love. Our main character Oona (played by the amazing Emma Caulfield) is having difficulty finding her soul mate and it doesn’t help that her timer is blank (possibly meaning her love hasn’t had a timer installed yet or does it mean she doesn’t have a soul mate?). She falls for a supermarket assistant Mickey (played by John Patrick Amedori) who’s timer says he is due to meet his true love in 4 months’ time. Can the two of them beat the system and fall in love despite their timers?

When I saw the dvd of this in a shop I was for some reason drawn to read the synopsis. It sounded really interesting and it sounded like it had that unique twist that many films  are lacking (especially romance pictures). I bought it and found myself not to be disappointed. It is a truly phenomenal romance picture that really does strike up some interesting questions on love and fate. It’s the way that it handles these questions that makes it truly stand out from everything else (not that there is any other film quite like this one).

WARNING! – this is where I may get all mushy and sentimental.

The biggest question that the film raises is probably ‘can we help who we fall in love with?’:

It’s a very interesting question and one that really can’t be fully answered due to the nature of what it is. Love is the one emotion that can’t be broken down, can’t be fully analysed as everyone experiences it in different ways. For me, love is the most intimate emotional connection one can have with another human being. There doesn’t necessarily have to be anything physical about the relationship (although there generally is), it is far more than that. It even surpasses that need, that human craving for companionship. It can’t be explained faithfully in words, it is something one must truly experience to fully understand (even then it is something that I believe defies understanding.) I am a true believer in Love and believe that it is the greatest emotion one can feel (even if it does go wrong).

It is also true when people say that you never know what you’ve got until you lose it. The feeling one gets is best described as heartbreak. It’s something that I never believed but it’s true. A piece of your heart gets torn out and you never know if it’ll ever heal. Even when it does there will always be a scar (Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, even if at the time, it feels bad.) It is these scars and our life experiences that craft us into who we are. They can make us stronger (or even weaker) but it’s who we are. But for me, Love it is the one thing that is truly worth the risk (although some may disagree with me)

Where would we be without risk? Nowhere is the answer.

This is what the film handles really well. These two characters, Oona and Mikey who are not ‘destined’ to be together, develop true feelings for one another and they have the tough question of ‘is it worth the heartache?’ For Mickey it is but Oona isn’t sure (which is a natural response) none of us want to get hurt but without the risk will we ever find true happiness?

The film’s ‘timer’ aims to solve this problem (well at least in the film world). But it brings up a question of can you fall in love with someone because you’re told to? I don’t think you can (as much as it’d help). You can get that spark which leads you to approach and talk to another individual but I’d class that initial spark to possibly fall closer to lust than love. You could even say that you love the ‘idea’ of a certain individual without even knowing them. It can’t be explained this easily though. I honestly believe you can know when you are in love with a person, You can know it from your first meeting, but even then it increases and soon can become an overwhelming rollercoaster ride of beauty (and sometimes pain). In the film Oona and Mikey’s relationship starts as one of lust (well at least for Oona) but as the film progresses and they spend more time together lust develops to love. This can be how love works, but as I’ve said love cannot be summed up so easily (oh! I wish it could be).

The film really does hit home on some of these questions and for this reason it hooked me far more than most films.  It goes from being funny, to beautiful, to utterly heart-breaking (just like real life). Love isn’t a smooth ride and relationships can be hard work for both parties. This is what the film acknowledges and gets right. This is what makes it a remarkable piece of film making in my eyes.

The acting was amazing especially from the two leads who hold the film together with their realistic portrayal of what a relationship can be.  The fact the film doesn’t glorify everything and doesn’t paint everything in black and white, makes it that much better than most romantic comedies out there (although I wouldn’t really call this a comedy). I loved it I really did.

So It brings us back to the opening question of whether you’d want to know if you’ve found true love. I personally don’t think I would (although at times it would make things a heck of a lot easier). As I’ve said it makes us who we are and as much as it can hurt, you never know what will happen. I also don’t believe in a clock that tries to break down the true emotion into a series of numbers. For me, this film made me question my own life and feelings more than any other and that surprised me. For that I can barely fault it. A must see. 9/10.


*sorry if I went off topic a bit. Just got a bit carried away.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s