Watching this film, ‘The Future’, I felt like I was watching two dear friends of mine going through a divorce. It was painful, it was sad, and I shed a tear or two for Sophie and Jason. I would not recommend this movie to anyone who needs a feel good movie about love, happy endings and something starring Julia Roberts. But for those of us who enjoy a really great movie, keep reading.
Miranda July wrote, directed and stars in this searing examination of life questioned. In a truly powerful performance that has gone unrecognized, July’s character Sophie represents the masses of women whose lives are not quite what they thought they would be. Sophie’s job is unrewarding, her personal life is lacking in fulfillment, and her insecurities haunt her thoughts. Sophie’s line “I wish I was more beautiful” is a painful, heart wrenching moment, that is all too reflective of young women’s insecurities as is reflected by the recent Youtube trend of young women posting videos of themselves asking if they are pretty enough.
Hamish Linklater co-stars as Sophie’s boyfriend, Jason, who seems to be simply in a state of neutral existence with the world around him. Linklater perfectly plays Jason as the soft spoken, rather timid traveler of life who is incapable of exerting any outward emotion or exertion. Jason is a threat to no one. As someone once described someone close to me “he does not take charge.”
Two negatives do make a positive. Sophie and Jason represent that one couple, out of a hundred, that everyone knows that seem perfect for each other. Their quirky nature draws you in, you laugh at their behavior and you wish you could invite them over for dinner and a board game. They are the perfect couple in a world of imperfect relationships.
I was not sure where this movie was going with its slow pace, simple dialogue and quirky humor. I was ready to turn away and watch another rerun of “30 Rock”, when July unexpectedly turns the movie on a dime and takes it down a path I could not see coming. I was hooked and could not turn away. I found myself hoping July would turn the direction of the movie again, steer it away from the path of destruction that her character, Sophie, was heading down. But, she does not.
July exposes the audience to real life, poor decisions and the self-destruction that follows when we fail to find those things that satisfy us internally. But for every action, there is a reaction. Sophie’s actions directly affect Jason. It was painful to watch our simple, quirky, beautiful couple imploding. It is painful because you very quickly realize if they cannot make it, how can the rest of us?
If you’re looking for a great movie devoid of special effects, Hollywood elite and canned humor, this movie is for you.