Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is It Better To Know?

I love movies that make me think. I mean, Super Troopers aside, I prefer my entertainment force me to flex my cerebral muscles. And I especially love it when I choose a film hoping it will be dumb and mindless and instead find it deep and though-provoking.

That's how I felt after watching Timer (starring Emma Caulfield...Anyanka from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer). The film creates for us a world where science has been able to determine when a person will meet their soul mate, right down to the second, by means of a timer that is implanted on your person and counts down to D-DAY. Our protagonist, Una, is obsessed with finding her ONE from the beginning of the story, and what unfolds is a very witty and clever romantic comedy that begs the questions: How do you know if the person you're dating is the one? Would you want to know? And when you know, are they the one because you were told or because they ARE?

Think about the person you are with. Do you feel in your heart that you love them? Now what if you got this timer implant and it told you someone else was your soul mate, and you'd be meeting them in three days? Would you love your somebody any less? For a commitment-phobe like myself who's afraid of getting hurt MORE than I'm afraid of anything else, it initially seems like a dream come true to have all the guess work taken out of love.

(But then again, I'm the same person that would like to have certain people erased from my memory ala Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind!)

I identified with Caulfield's character as she fought with the guy she was dating- he didn't have a timer, she did and it had yet to activate. She was looking to leave him because in her eyes continuing the relationship was pointless if they weren't soul mates. And in the midst of this fight, he drops some KNOWLEDGE on both of us:

"Jesus, Una, what do you want?"

"A guarantee!"

"No. Your problem isn't that I can't give you a guarantee, it's that you can't give me one."


I can't give the guarantee. Just LIGHT BULB all over the place.

When I sit and think about all my "gone bad" relationships, I was never unsure if the guy liked me. For the most part, they all liked me. They said so often and showed it and pursued me. The common denominator in all this? Me. Pulling away. Not committing. Always uncertain.

So then I wonder, would this timer solve my problem? Would I be willing to give up the butterflies that take over my stomach with every kiss to have science point me in the right direction and decide for me? Am I that much of a control freak?

Or do I (we) heed the words of fake scientist Dr. Ian Malcolm (YES I'm about to quote from Jurassic Park!): "Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

Throughout the film we hear both sides- those that swear by the timer, those that find it a burden, and those that don't believe in it at all. In fact, Una's father has a timer that has yet to go off. His girlfriend? Well, she removed hers when it told her HE wasn't HER one. "I love him. Fuck it," is all she offered as an explanation. People, SHE GAVE UP HER SCIENTIFICALLY DETERMINED SOUL MATE TO STAY WITH THIS DUDE!!! Does that NOT blow your mind? Is it just me?? Who does that? Would I be that strong in my convictions?

Would you?

*smooches...unable to finish this post because my brain exploded*
with every question I asked myself three more arose. I think I need to keep reminding myself this was just a film and move the fuck on...