Has sci-fi finally found its Blair Witch in TiMER?

Oona the orthodontist has a blank TiMER.

In the film TiMER, Oona (played by Emma Caulfield, who was Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) has an implant in her wrist that will reveal the exact date that she will meet her true soulmate. But right now it's blank, and her life is in a sort of limbo because of it.

The low-budget sci-fi romance has earned a lot of positive buzz at film festivals over the last year, most notably the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. They are trying to release the movie simultaneously in a few big cities and on VOD, through Amazon.com, DirecTV and cable outlets in the rest of the country. They're trying to generate buzz with a high-concept idea and a bunch of recognizable good-looking faces from TV.

Caulfield was not only in Darkness Falls but is on TV in Gigantic. The guy who plays her younger love interest is John Patrick Amedori from Gossip Girl, and Desmond Harrington, also from Gossip Girl, makes a play for the sexy orthodontist. Michelle Borth (The Forgotten) plays Oona's best friend and half-sister, while Poltergeist mom JoBeth Williams plays their mother.

The TiMER device is introduced in present time (actually a few years ago, because the news scroll about the first reports of the device reads "Lord of the Rings Nabs 11 Oscars ... "). Then we jump to the 15th anniversary of the device and find that more than half the younger generation have the implants and are seeking their better halves.

The science of the TiMER is explained in a series of news clips by experts who detail how the soulmate is found through genetic and physiological connections, not just a database of likes and dislikes.

TiMER is trying to prey on the need to be loved and to find true love. People who don't want to work too hard to find it will just get an implant and wait until the timer indicates their paths will cross.

It's too much when Oona's teenage brother gets a TiMER and discovers that he will find his soulmate in a matter of days. That sends Oona on a plan to fool around with any guy just for fun, which is how she finds Amedori's character, Mikey.

Mikey's TiMER shows that he will find his perfect match in a matter of months, but the problem is that he really likes Oona a lot.

This charming romance by first-time director and writer Jac Schaeffer is so much better than the J. Lo and Jennifer Aniston romantic comedies that seem to be churned out. And the sci-fi element adds an intriguing touch that is no doubt going to spark some conversations. The best part is that it's easy to watch in the comfort of home.

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