The Future ~ (Germany/USA, 2011) ~ DVD

This one takes some getting used to. I’m not sure I ever did, but after a rough patch at the start of the film it did draw me in. The rough patch involved me wanting to kick these characters in the ass, so immersed in molasses were they. That didn’t really change (the molasses bit) but I absorbed the pace. Which you’ll be required to do if you want to let Miranda July’s film wash over you. And you may not. Obviously a film of this nature is decidedly not for all tastes.

Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater) share a LA apartment – he an on-line computer support tech and she a dance instructor for kids. Neither of them are fulfilled in their jobs, tough words like “fulfilled” and “meaningful” hardly are the point. The point is that they are in a drift, waiting, waiting for life to give them a sign. In a spurt of movement, they both quit their jobs and plan to adopt an animal shelter cat (who is terminally ill) after a sort of 30-Day cooling off period. They have 30-days to pick the cat up. Oh, and that cat narrates the interludes of the film between the uh….action. In an extremely irritating voice, I might add. All this in a desperate attempt to take control of their lives and move on into “adulthood”.

They both seem to sense that things must change, that they are going nowhere and that their relationship is drifting just like their individual lives are. They play a game where they both freeze, stopping time. Jason is better at it than she. Sophie takes up with a single dad who lives in Tarzana and more or less moves out of the shared apartment. Just before she does this however, Jason stops time for real – he doesn’t want to hear what Sophie is about to tell him. It’s 3:14 A.M and the world is stuck on that time. He has trouble getting it started again. A visit to the seashore and the full, shining moon take care of that.

Ya’ll will need to decide for yourselves if this is just too, too precious and cutesy or if it’s a serious attempt to examine our existential beings. Does it tackle the ‘big’ questions, or does it play with them like a rag doll, never quite knowing what to do with them?

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