CIFF ’10 Opening Night Gala

20 03 2010

The Cleveland International Film Festival opened on Thursday with the film TiMER, followed by the opening night party.  I was lucky enough to score 2 tickets (worth $250) to the event and I got to have a rare chance to feel like a Cleveland Elite.

The night started off in a panic, because I wasn’t sure where my tickets were… luckily they ended up at the will call booth.  After I fought the crowd of well dress people to get my tickets (my girlfriend and I were by far the youngest people there… barring the random toddlers being carted around by their parents), we herded like sheep into one of five theaters where TiMER was being shown, just in time to hear an introduction by the producers.  That was followed by a word (or six to be exact) for our great mayor, Frank Jackson.  Then we waited… and waited… to allow the anticipation to sink in.  Or, until the other theaters were ready as well.

But time is great for people watching.  The mood was mixed… well mostly it was shared excitement, but the lady next to me felt it necessary to express how she wasn’t a fan of such films and she didn’t want to watch any of them.  I think her name was Debbie or Nancy or something.  Aside from Negative Nancy, most patrons were discussing the films in the coming week, along with office gossip and couples quibbling… and me, whining about how I spilled my popcorn. Sad.

As the lights dimmed, the new CIFF trailer played amongst a round of applause.  I really liked the trailer, but it will probably get old after the 25th viewing.

TiMER ★★★

My expectations for the film were low… romantic comedy isn’t exactly my #1 genre.  Especially because the film is set in the future, where a company invents bio-implants which count down to the day when someone meets their soulmate.  I know… sounds pretty cheesy.   But it didn’t play out quite how I expected and the sappy love drama was frequently interrupted by surprisingly witty humor.

The plot plays out around Oona O’Leary (Emma Caulfield, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) who faces the possibility of never having a soul mate, because the implant does not countdown until its counterpart is activated.  Oona’s is inexplicably blank.  30 years old, and loosing hope, she searches for her guy through process of elimination.  The opening scene has one of the funniest and most awkward break up scenes I’ve ever seen, starting with a timer implant and ending with an attempted handshake, hug (often seen between two guys following the phrase “What up brah?”).

Overall, I enjoyed the film and it had a pretty good sound track (I think I picked up on some Sufjan Stevens and Iron and Wine).  It was definitely a great start to the CIFF ’10.  The after party surely added to the experience as well…

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