Despite the fact that much of its plot takes place in a futuristic city called Megalopolis, not a single winery was liquidated to finance “Molli and Max in the Future.” That only makes the existence of Michael Lukk Litwak’s debut feature more remarkable, as his futuristic rom-com creates an expansive sci-fi universe that spans four planets and three dimensions on a fraction of the budget of the studio blockbusters it tries to emulate. Written like a throwback Woody Allen movie — complete with rapid-fire quips and a jazz score —and shot like a stage play that relies on rotating backdrops, “Molli and Max” blends the scale of a space opera with the best and worst clichés of independent film.
Set one billion years in the future, the film begins with the reassuring news that the invention of flying cars has not reduced the prevalence of meet-cutes sparked by minor accidents. A harmless intergalactic fender bender introduces Molli (Zosia Mamet), a free-spirited crystal hunter who is incapable of not speaking her mind, to Max (Aristotle Athari), a slightly misanthropic athlete who dreams of competing as a mech fighter in a “Real Steel”-esque robot gladiator league despite his family’s objections. They quickly develop a rapport based on lightning-fast banter that playfully reveals the differences in their worldviews in classic rom-com fashion. But as soon as the friendship begins, they part ways for five years.
When they meet again in the first…
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The post “Indie Sci-Fi Comedy Charms – IndieWire” by Christian Zilko was published on 02/09/2024 by www.indiewire.com