Written and directed by Michael Lukk Litwak, MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE is a mixtape of every movie I enjoyed from my childhood thrown into a blender and then distilled into a series of vignettes featuring the titular characters (played by Zosia Mamet and Aristotle Athari) as they continue to bump into each other at different times in their lives. As Stefon on SNL would say “this movie has everything”. It’s got romance, comedy, robots, aliens, angst, and awkward meet-cutes…Comedian Matteo Lane!
MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE addresses many of today’s topics like racial stereotypes, war, class issues, religion, fame, love, dating, and more through the neon-soaked lens of the film’s main characters. The writing is strong and the delivery of the banter between Molli and Max is fluid and quick.
The look of the movie is a combination of something out of BLADE RUNNER combined with Robot Chicken, TRON, with the comedic sensibility of the series Platonic. It’s interesting how many of the effects of this film were created in-camera by the filmmaker and cinematographer Zach Stoltzfus. In a world of expensive CGI, the director seems to have found a way to create a fun universe of his own without breaking the SFX bank. In many cases with independent film, the use of green screen is egregiously obvious. However, in MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE, even when you can tell a green screen is in use, you don’t care. You can absolutely see the commercial-directing background of Litwak’s career front and center in his movie when it comes to the look and feel. The pacing is phenomenal for a film that is mostly (or seems mostly) like two people speaking for an hour and a half. The scenes flow beautifully into each other, and Litwak and editor Joanna Naugle seem to understand just where to cut to keep the audience’s interest peaked. There are really no wasted minutes in this 90-ish minute piece.
If this review feels a little all over the place, it’s because MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE is one of the most unique films I’ve seen over the course of my career reviewing movies. It’s a mix of conflicting ideas. It’s a comedy, but it’s also a romance, but it’s sci-fi, depicting the future, robots, starships; and it’s also grounded in a low-fi kind of way. It can be compared to nearly every popular film from the 80’s, but it stands on its own as a unique piece of art. It’s an indie with mainstream sensibility. One thing is for sure, if you wanted to get a friend or family member into independent film, this would be an easy entry point for them to start with.
Summary: A sci-fi romantic comedy about a man and woman whose orbits repeatedly collide over the course of 12 years, 4 planets, 3 dimensions, and one space-cult.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English
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