I have seen “The Future” and it is futile. OK, maybe I am just not “with it,” whatever “it” may be. Last week I wrote that I did not “get” “The Sleeping Beauty,” the film from French director Catherine Breillat. Today I am here to state that someone is going to have to explain to me the allure of writer/director Miranda July, specifically as it pertains to her new, self-indulgent, pseudo-quirky movie, “The Future.” Did I “get” it? Well I understood it, which is more than I can say for “The Sleeping Beauty.” As far as “getting” it goes, well, maybe I am not the one to be critiquing this film. After all I did not see July’s previous movie, “Me and You and Everyone We Know,” nor have I read any of her writing. Based on “The Future” though I definitely think I have dodged a few bullets.
In addition to writing and directing ‘The Future” July also acts in the film, along with Hamish Linklater. July and Linklater play Sophie and Jason, a 35-year-old couple. They are two of the dullest, dim witted, self-involved, navel gazing characters I have seen in a long time.
Sophie and Jason have a mid-life crisis when they decide to adopt an injured cat. These people should only know what real problems are. The cat, named Paw Paw, needs 30 days to heal before they can take it home. July also provides the voice of Paw Paw, who narrates the film and proves to be more intelligent than the main, human, characters. When we are shown Paw Paw we see only her paws, one of which is bandaged.
Sophie and Jason figure out that if Paw Paw lives for five years then they will be 40 when the cat dies. They reason that 40 is the new 50 and that their lives will effectively be over. Give me a break. The commitment anxiety makes them decide that they have to accomplish something meaningful in their lives and do it within the next 30 days. So these idiots quit their jobs and cut off their internet access. Their ensuing adventures, or misadventures (she decides to perform “30 Dances in 30 Days” on the internet and he becomes involved with an environmental group) are completely devoid of interest and display a self-satisfied quirkiness that is completely unearned.
I still cannot believe that July actually made the cover of “The New York Times Magazine” section for this tripe. “The New York Times” clearly needs to hire someone who is more savvy about film choices (hint, hint).
“The Future” opens on July 29 at IFC Center, 323 6th Avenure.
The Future, Director Miranda July, 2011, Roadside Attractions, 91 minutes, not rated