Male geeks may find it curiously exhilarating that a woman filmmaker wrote and directed this philosophical examination of frontier technology—though their clammy-handed thrill may wane a bit when it becomes clear that Jac Schaeffer’s preoccupations are less Westworld and more Loveline. This future-shock parable gets props for pondering the impact of a gadget that reveals if and when a person will meet their soulmate. The voluntary bracelet-like device (peddled by snob hipsters in a sly nod to Apple) is wrist-implanted as early as puberty, and begins to count down anywhere from hours to years once it syncs with the perfect match—assuming that one’s ideal other also has a timer. Antsy that hers hasn’t even activated yet, desperate 29-year-old Oona (Caulfield) falls into a digitally doomed romance with a younger man (Amedori), whose ticker supposedly puts him within a month of true love.
Not everyone has a timer; not everyone wants one. Some embrace the certitude; others recoil. And therein lies the somewhat gristly meat of this sci-fi chick flick, which explores the importance of bad lovers, sour relationships, misfires and duds. 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.—Stephen Garrett
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