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