The Future (2011) – Miranda July

I have an uneasy admiration for Miranda July. Her movies are quirky and easy to watch without being cutesy and gimmicky. The Future isn’t even gimmicky and it has a talking cat in it. My issue with July is that her pictures equal less than the sum of their parts. That’s the case with The Future which has all the elements of a very good movie but turns into simply a good one. It has two likable people (though they seem to be on Ambien, another July trademark) and they have real problems and real hangups and the script is often very funny and is realized with no small bit of style. But the story, about a insecure woman (July) and her drifting boyfriend (Hamish Linklater) who face an emotional crises framed around the 30 day waiting period for a feral cat (which does some narration), doesn’t achieve anything more than just that. Individual moments are very good, particularly July as a dance instructor being intimidated by the studio’s younger employee and then her panic at her getting older, but as a whole it’s somewhat underwhelming. That may be the attitudes of July’s characters being projected on the audience, who knows?

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