Wednesday, February 16, 2011

what to watch: TiMER (+ three questions)

Now that K spends a lot of his evenings studying, I get to watch a lot more of the quirky indie romantic comedies that generally induce eye-rolling on his part. Last night I watched TiMER, a near-future sci-fi flick that is more When Harry Met Sally than Alien vs. Predator. The premise? A tech company has developed a device that, upon implantation, begins to count down to the moment you will meet your soulmate. The catch is, both partners in this perfect pairing must have the implantation--and Oona O'Leary's TiMER will remain blank until her soulmate decides to take the plunge. In these postmodern times, a TiMER is like a cell phone, or an iPod, or an internet connection--except for a few non-conformist musicians (who do invest in fake timers, like fake wedding rings, to justify any promiscuous shenanigans as a sort of last-hurrah before they "zero out"), rednecks from the boonies, or those who want a little bit of mystery and excitement left in the soulmate search (no guarantees), everybody seems to have one. And Oona is not-so-patiently waiting for her prince to get pierced, all the while wondering what kind of a man would remain TiMER-less when she is out there, wanting.

I thought the movie was charming and original, and I love those semi-sci-fi movies (like Cold Souls or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) that add only one small element of new-age hubbub to an otherwise ordinary story in order to further explore questions of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness in new and exciting ways. This movie was interesting because it asks the question: if you could know the exact person you were meant to be with and when you would meet them, how would that change the way you lived your life? Would you be more content to focus on your career or other personal development because you weren't spending all of your time searching for that special someone? Or would you be lolled into a state of complete apathy, knowing that you were destined to meet someone eventually no matter what you did (like Oona's unfortunate step-sister, whose TiMER is counting down to her 43rd year)? Would a TiMER remove all of the mystery and excitement from life? Would you be able to love someone in the new world without a guarantee, or would you always wonder? The TiMER doesn't seem to make courtship or connection any less complicated--in fact, you may be stuck with a soulmate you don't even like! I thought this was a clever little film and it was really refreshing to watch something with an original element in the otherwise stale rom-com set.

On a quasi-related note, when my friend C and I were gchatting the other day she told me that a friend of hers was seriously considering online dating and had read an interesting article on the subject. Apparentely there are only three questions you need to ask a potential partner to determine compatibility:

1) Do you like horror movies?
2) Have you ever traveled alone?
3) Wouldn't it be so cool to live on a sailboat for a year?

I thought this was interesting, because I could absolutely see the answers to these questions providing insight into a person's true nature. Just for fun, I thought I would answer these questions so you guys can get to know the "real me." :)


1) I do like horror movies. Sometimes. I am very particular about the kind of horror movies I watch and the kinds of people I will watch them with. First of all, I do not like blood-and-guts-and-gore movies like Chainsaw Massacre (which I haven't even seen). I prefer psycho-mind-warp movies like What Lies Beneath, The Ring, etc. (I'm totally dating myself here, but those are the movies I watched in High School). Secondly, I am a major screamer. I cannot control myself and it doesn't matter where I am--I have been known to let out a shriek or two in the movie theater. I need to watch movies with people who are equally excitable but have a simultaneously comforting presence. Close friends, K... annnnd nobody else.


2) I have never traveled alone, but I would love to! Scratch that: I think that I am the sort of person who wants to be the sort of person who travels alone, but I'm not sure it's for me. I prefer solitude while en route to a destination--I like to read or journal or stare out the windows of moving planes, trains and automobiles, and I don't like to chitchat while in transit. That said, once I arrive at my intended destination, I can't imagine myself enjoying it alone. I don't like to explore by myself, because I like to share my experiences with others. I don't strike up conversations with strangers, so those can't realistically be "others" for me. Ideally, I would travel alone to a destination where I would meet up with a group of friends and spend a few days (or months, or years) exploring the new place together.


3) Yes. Yes, yes, yes!! I have become increasingly uncomfortable with and bogged down by my recent accumulation of possessions, and would love to just say hell with it all and take off onto the open ocean in a sailboat. I loved Robert Pirsig's follow-up to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Lila. I would love to just throw it all to the wind and live a simple life, free to move about the globe as I desired and at the mercy of the elements. And I can honestly say I don't think I'm just wishing I were the sort of person who wanted to do this--I really do!

What about you? Do you like horror movies? Do you travel alone? How cool would it be to live on a sailboat?


  1. I recently saw TiMER, too and really liked it!

  2. I really want to see TIMER now. Those are hood questions, I totally feel the same about travelling alone, I'd like to be the kind who could.. but i'm not sure I am, and I like to daydream en-route.

  3. I am with you on the TYPE of scary movies I enjoy. Not guts and gore for me.
    And yes, i would enjoy traveling alone. Someplace WARM!!

    Sailboat, maybe for a trip, but not to live on for a long period of time. :)

  4. This is the 2nd blog post I've read about this movie. I've got it in the queue. Time to watch it!!!
    Annnnnnnd, yes I like horror movies (even an occasional slasher film). Yes, I've traveled alone. And the boat thing, in theory yes. Buut, I'm afraid I'd be sea sick CONSTANTLY.