I really hated the first half of Miranda July’s The Future. While I remember liking the quirkiness of Me and You and Everyone We Know quite a bit, maybe I would dislike it now. Because I sure disliked the first half of The Future. A couple (July and Hamish Linklater) both about to turn 35, both drifting in that oh so cute twee way of my generation, both permanently depressed, both in bad jobs, are about to embark on a big journey. They are going to adopt a cat. The cat, played by Miranda July in an irritating voice, has to remain in the shelter for a month while it’s foot heals from an injury. But if they don’t pick it up on the very day, the shelter will kill it. So they decide since they have a month, they are going to really live. But they have no idea what to do. They float and they act cute and they mostly fail. It’s a bad mumblecore movie (like there is any other kind), even though July is clearly fall more skilled than most of those people.
The second half of the film is somewhat more interesting because July starts an affair with the father of guy Linklater bought a drawing off of. He wears a sleazy chain because he likes to fuck, as he says, and she’s pretty into it, even though he’s quite a bit older. But he doesn’t mind her eccentricities. Linklater has found an old man to become friends with who dispenses wisdom of a sort between writing dirty holiday-themed limericks to his wife. It moves from awful to OK. Ultimately, it’s a vaguely interesting movie about a struggling couple. Oh yeah, and the cat thing doesn’t end well.
Perhaps more interesting is thinking of this film in terms of how it represents a generation–one that in media is still floating between jobs, acting twee, unable to commit or show emotion, probably on antidepressants for the last 20 years. Even when Linklater gets a sort of job selling trees, he can’t really commit to anything other than his own lacklusterness and a sort of vague interest in his own girlfriend. This movie could not exist in 1969 or maybe even 1989. It’s kind of an interesting product of a generation. So maybe I invented a way to kind of sort of respect a film I mostly found irritating.