Molli and Max in the Future (2023)

98% – Critics
100% – Audience

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Molli and Max in the Future Movie Reviews

Annie Hall in the 25th Century? Maybe…

Molli and Max in the Future is probably too rom-com centric for sci-fi geeks and too bonko f/x-driven for Hallmark Channel subscribers.

Written and directed by Michael Lukk Litwak, Molli and Max in the Future pays homage to Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally, as well as Woody Allen sex farces, all wrapped around a glitzy sci-fi rendering that looks like the backlot of Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. Litwak then takes Ephron and Allen’s caffeinated humor and blends it down to a vanilla soy latte. Rude sex and emotional inadequacies are jettisoned in favor of Millennial over-achievement and career depression.

Adapting Annie Hall in outer space makes for a great concept. Honestly though, when it comes to sci-fi and love, most Trekkies, Wookies, and Time Lords might instead opt to simply rewatch the Han & Leia scenes from The Empire Strikes Back.

One of the best Sci-fi comedies I’ve seen in years, if not decades.

I caught this today at the London Film Festival and went in blind, not really knowing anything about it other than that it’s been described as a sci-fi When Harry Met Sally. It’s so much more than that though, but I don’t want to risk spoiling the movie too much by explaining why, so all I will say is that this is a film which is incredibly inventive, and you can see it’s a real labour of love as it’s so playful and imaginative.

Best of all is the central romance however, and I say that as a die hard sci-fi / fantasy fan who loved the visual elements of the film. The central couple are given dialogue that made me laugh out loud an awful lot, and the performances are so strong that I fell in love with the characters very early on.

I’m a little wary of over praising this to the extent that people might have really high expectations of it, but despite that I can’t help myself, and I had so much fun watching this movie that half way through I realised I was grinning inanely, and that didn’t stop until the lights went up after the credits.

This is a low budget film so anyone going in expecting Marvel style cgi might be a little disappointed, but in many ways the lo-fi style and occasional stop motion sequences makes it all the more delightful, and as you can tell, I was well and truly charmed by this gem of a movie.

unconventional banter across dimensions

Greetings again from the darkness. I’ll readily admit that I’m not an expert in outer space-based Science Fiction Romantic-Comedies. If you press me for a description of writer-director Michael Luk Litwak’s film, it would be “WHEN HARRY MET SALLY … in future space”. Of course, this low budget flick is no match for Rob Reiner’s classic 1989 Rom-Com, yet the mismatched couple and the recurring spontaneous meetups does strike some familiar chords.

Zosia Mamet stars as Molli and Aristotle Athari is Max. Zosia is a quirky actress known for “Girls” and the daughter of renowned writer David Mamet. Aristotle is best known for the season he spent on “Saturday Night Live”. This isn’t one of those shock-and-awe super special effects sci-fi spectacles. Instead, beginning in Chapter One, spaceships collide. One driven by Molli and one by uninsured Max. Rather than bicker over fault, the two display out-of-this-world chemistry … unorthodox chemistry for sure … but chemistry nonetheless.

Beginning with that initial bonding, viewers should brace themselves for non-stop banter whenever Molli and Max are together – something that happens frequently over the 12 years featured here. These reunions occur on various planets, across multiple dimensions, during a relationship with a robot, after joining a cult, and while living as a celebrity. One’s enjoyment of the film will surely be determined by how the rapid-fire dialogue strikes – is it charming or grating? Those charmed will likely focus on the friendship/romantic two-step. Those annoyed will likely notice the political angle that filmmaker Litwak tries to sneak in.

With Special Effects intentionally a notch below BARBARELLA (1968) and FLASH GORDON (1980), the green screen images may be cartoonish, but they fit with the overall tone here. This feels like one of those films that will find a very receptive niche following, while others will be baffled by the appeal.

In theaters beginning February 9, 2024.