An odd-duck couple who have had plenty of years to be married (read: get bored) and far too much time on their hands decide to adopt a cat. They can't pick it up for a month because it's undergoing some medical treatments, and they're warned that if they fail to arrive on the designated date the cat will be euthanized. The prospect of that last month of freedom before they make a commitment to something other than themselves opens up a fissure in their lives and threatens to destroy a complacency they had begun to take for granted.
The fact that adopting a cat counts in their lives as a commitment great enough to alter their lives forever should tell you a little something about the personalities of these main characters, and if we end up being fed up with both of them, and her especially, I think we're meant to. It's nearly impossible to sympathize with people whose lives are basically so cushy that taking on a pet takes on the momentous proportions of a major life event -- but then I think of my own life, and how good I basically have it, and how good even the most average American basically has it, and how most of my problems would seem pretty petty to a lot of other people out there in the world, and realize that maybe what annoys me about these characters are the qualities I see in them that most annoy me about myself.
"The Future" I think is a cautionary tale about what happens to people when they spend all of their lives worrying about what their lives could be instead of accepting what their lives actually are. At some point, everyone gets to an age where he or she has to simply commit to SOMETHING, whether it be another person, a child, a cause, a pet, a life path, a career. Whatever it is, they have to make a conscious choice to make the best of what they have and stop worrying about what could have been. Easier said than done, probably, or many many people would be much happier.
I liked "The Future" well enough while I was watching it, but I can't say it really stuck with me. Miranda July has an off-beat writing and directorial (not to mention acting) style that will probably turn off some. I'm o.k. with it, and I must say that for once it was refreshing to see a movie in which it's the female rather than the male who does a worse job of dealing with a mid-life crisis. Thank you Ms. July for equaling the playing field a bit.
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