Thursday, February 14, 2013

Awfully Direct: Valentine's Special 2013: "My Future Boyfriend"

In the name of Valentine's Day, 
I suffer at the hands of ABC Family.

Love in the Future

      My Future Boyfriend is a 2011 ABC Family TV movie, released, appropriately enough, in April! Wait... The film follows a time traveler from the future who travels to the past the learn about love from a romance writer who lives in New Orleans. Sounds fun to me. I mean, after all, when have romantic comedies and sci-fi not meshed well. The film is directed by Michael Lange (Several TV episodes) and written by James Orr (Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit) and Jim Cruickshank (3 Men and a Baby), let's delver into what I'm sure will be a tom of fun.*
The Review
      The film opens, greeting us by saying it's an ABC Family movie. Way to put confidence in us, movie. In the year 3127 A.D., Because, you know, the future can't be B.C., P-A-X-497/341 (Yes, that's really what they called him), or Pax (Barry Watson, 7th Heaven) and his partner Val (Enisha Brewster, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn) are searching the wreckage of a cruise ship when the discover an ancient suitcase. Inside, they find loads of cash from 2012 and a paperback book. And naturally, they don't know what they are, because I guess we stopped recording our History after 2012. The book is titled Forbidden Love, which I'm sure won't have any parallels with the plot, oh no. Then the title pops up on screen, which looks so lazily done that I swore it was an ad for another movie.
      The film flashes back to 2011, in what's supposed to be New Orleans. And you know it's New Orleans, because there's a black guy playing guitar on the street. Inside a building called Strange Times, where people dressed as Hitler, a statue and a female Elvis are all sitting because the filmmakers think that makes the movie quirky. There, Elizabeth (Sara Rue, Eastwick) is handing out copies of her new book, which is the same one Pax found. Then we travel back to the future (Hah!) making that last scene completely pointless. Pax is in the Institute of Science and Bad CGI, analyzing Elizabeth's book and we learn that in the future no one knows what the word love means and all records of the word are sealed. Or forbidden, as the film thinks it's clever in saying.   
      Pax consults his boss Bob (Fred Willard, From Everything Ever) and we learn he does even know what sex is. Oh, I can't wait to here how that one's explained. Bob tells Pax that as far as they can tell, love is a virus (I get it. That's not funny.) that causes people to do illogical things and is the cause of most suffering. Yeah, that seems about right. Pax decides to time travel back to 2011 to learn about love from Elizabeth, and with Bob's help and copious amounts of technobabble (In a romantic comedy!), Pax travel back with a 2-day deadline.
      Back in 2011, Elizabeth is talking with her friend Bobbi (Valerie Harper, City) and tells her that her boyfriend is planning to propose. And, of course, Elizabeth plans to say "Yes" even though she doesn't really love him. I mean, come on! She wrote a romance novel. Shouldn't she be stubbornly holding out for Mr. Right, despite the objections of her family and friends and the constant prodding of her loving but safe boyfriend? I need to get out more. Elizabeth's boss is mad because Elizabeth can't seem to find any stories other than glow-in-the-dark penises. See, he wants more uplifting pieces despite working for a Weekly World News-style paper, which literally lives and dies by glowing penises. He tells Elizabeth that some guy from the future wants to talk to him and finally, Pax and Elizabeth have their meet cute. Cut to commercial!

      Elizabeth interrogate Pax about his travels, all with the films attempts at humor completely falling flat and Pax tells Elizabeth that he came back from the future specifically to she her. Which would send most people for the police, but I guess Elizabeth is just as stupid as the people from the future. It's about here that I decided that Rue is a good enough actress, giving her shallow character some likability. Watson, however, is laying it one a bit thick and needs to tone it down a lot. It's also here we learn that in the future, a comet destroys most life on Earth. That is until the human race rebuilds and create a utopia. Because I haven't heard that one before. And I guess this explains the futures lack of knowledge, but still, if they know what a cruise ship is they should know what a freaking paperback book is! Later on, Pax starts talking to a lamp and I completely lose hope that this movie will ever be funny. Apparently, being from the future also makes you five. Cut to commercial!
      Elizabeth takes Pax to lunch, where we learn that "Families" also don't exists in the future. because you can't spell "Utopia" without "Soul-crushingly depressing"! Pax once again ask Elizabeth what sex is, seeing as how the filmmakers think that that's just the funniest thing ever. Music begins to play and we once again learn that music doesn't' exist in the future. Wait a minute... The future has a time machine so how the hell don't they know these things! Is Pax the first person to use the time machine? Did no one else think to use it? If they are afraid to use it, then why build it? What the hell movie?
       So Pax starts "dancing" to the music, because, you know, this film thinks subtlety is a medicine you take for migraines. Which I could really use right about now. Oh, and it seems like they don't have medicine in the future. Wait, WHAT? Okay, seeing as how he also doesn't know what "Hot" and "Heat" are (Seriously?) I'm seriously beginning to think the Pax is just a complete moron and not just the entire future. Unless of course the radiation from the comet just made everybody 20x as stupid. I'm just going to keep a list of all the things they don't have in the future. Number 10: Phones. Elizabeth finally decides to leave Pax and his probable insanity and go back to Strange Times. She discovers that Pax hasn't stopped calling since she left him, which is impressive seeing as how he didn't know what a phone was 5 seconds ago. She tells Pax to call her later tomorrow, telling him to see the sights and unleashing him upon the world. What a bitch.
      Pax naturally wanders into a bar because this is a crappy comedy and racks up about $600 dollars in drinks between him and some "friends". He's drinking "Hurricanes", which he says is like a drink they have in the future, so it's nice to know that while silly thinks like "books" don't exist in the future, the important stuff still exist. Like booze! However, despite having drink, Pax does seems to realize he's drunk (Number 11: Drunkenness) and him and his new friends travel off to see Elizabeth. Cut to commercial!

Roses are red, this movies sucks. 
      So, Pax and his "friends" show up doing their drunk thang, with Pax is misunderstanding what people mean when they say thinks like "Smokin'" and "Tool". Elizabeth takes them outside, where she gets mad at Pax for embarrassing her in front of her family, her friends and most important of all, her publisher! She tells Pax that she wants her work life and her life life to be separate, so we know that will come crashing down eventually. Oh, and the future people don't have anger in the future. Number 11: Anger. Because, f*ck you, that's why. Elizabeth tells Pax to stay away from her, before telling him she doesn't want to be worried about him anymore, sending some very mixed signals. Oh, and Pax's "friends" who had been standing in the background this whole time suddenly disappear so Pax can't make his walk of shame alone. After all, did you really expect continuity in this movie?
      Cut to a Secret Service office... wait, what? Here, an agent talks to another about the money Pax has been using to buy all his drinks, thinking it's counterfeit, because Pax is stupid enough to use 2012 bills in 2011. We come back to Pax, who is mopping (Number 12; Sadness) because of his encounter with Elizabeth. Pax starts to feel depressed for the first time, and contemplates returning home. Cut to commercial!
      Elizabeth is back at Strange Times the next day, where she makes the classically cliched-yet-completely-unrealistic mistake of pouring more coffee in her coffee cup than it can takes. You know, because she's so upset out yelling at the crazy future guy. I mean, yes I know he actually IS from the future, but he acts so insane that I still don't believe him. Elizabeth's boss calls him into his "office" to tell her what a great job she did on the Pax story. He says that it's exactly the story people want to hear since every turns out okay for the Earth in the end. Which makes no sense see as how everyone who can read it will be dead in 20 years thanks to the meteor and it will be a thousand years before Earth society is perfected but whatever. Yay, imminent death!
       He offers Elizabeth and Pax a byline, however, since she told Pax to screw off, it looks like that's not gonna happen. But of course, Pax walks into the office right as she says that, making it all "okay". They tell each other their sorry, though I don't really know why Elizabeth feels the need to. Pax gives her a gift, because the future might not have anger and phones but they sure have presents! He gives her some quartz (You cannot make this up. Even though someone did.), saying it's the rarest mineral in the future. Which makes no sense seeing as how they have a time machine that could get some more.
Get it? It's about time!
      Pax them tells Elizabeth all he can think about is her eyes, adding more fuel to the "Get the hell away from that crazy person" fire. But of course, Elizabeth loves it. Great. She tells Pax they need to work on their next story, but Pax will only do it if  she answers his questions first. Initially, she's reluctant because she's on a deadline, which makes no sense as she just got the assignment and her next story won't be due for a few days, but whatever. She tells Pax what she thinks love is, which he says was compelling, but I zoned out for all of it, so I assume it was the greatest speech about romance ever given.
      Elizabeth takes Pax to see some romantic sights around the city like watching other couples have dates. Because the crazy is starting to spread over to Elizabeth now. They even crash a wedding! I mean, seriously!  And of course, the two keep getting mistaken for a couple on a date, seeing as how no rom com can ever be original ever. There's even an elderly couple feeding ducks thrown into the montage. Pandering? No I don't know what the word means.
      They stop off to eat, where Elizabeth continues her love speech, despite it being several hours later now. Number 13: Kissing. And you know what that means! Pax misunderstand Elizabeth's terrible explanation of kissing ("You do it when you like someone a lot".) and kisses Elizabeth. Elizabeth gets all flustered and Pax is still so "adorable" or as I like to call it, crazy, and they get their check from the restaurant. Cut to commercial!
      She brings Pax home (!) where it turns out Elizabeth forgot about her dinner with her boyfriend. I'd pack your bags bud. She also needs to finish her new article, even though a weekly paper won't need it til next week. And if it isn't a weekly paper, then it's a terrible World Weekly News ripoff. Pax discovers that Elizabeth and her boyfriend are about to get engaged, which makes him sad. Say it with me now... AWWWWWWWWW! I should also bring up the long and unnecessarily lingering shots, which pad the run time which is still barely over an hour long. Elizabeth is at her dinner, when we learn that Pax is in the restaurant too, hiding under the desserts table. Seriously? Why not have him pretend to be a waiter and go full blown cartoon?
      Elizabeth gets the cake the engagement ring is in, but she doesn't want to eat it, because she doesn't want to marry her boyfriend, even though she could just say no, however if she does see the ring, she'll say yes, because this movie sucks. She finds the ring, which is covered in custard, because custard is the universal food of romance. She says no, then she says yes after her boyfriend says a few words that I could care less about. Pax freaks out under the table, knocking over the desserts. Elizabeth's boyfriend gets mad at Pax and Pax responds by giving him quartz, which only makes him madder and Elizabeth more in love with Pax. Elizabeth forgives Pax, seeing as how the movie is awful.

      The Secret Service agents are still investigating the money, learning about Pax and Elizabeth.The next day, Pax see Elizabeth, where the two emotional confide in one another, which the film makes more continuity errors as the distance between them changes time the camera switch between them. The two are about to kiss, when predictably there's a knock at the door. The Secret Service agents have arrived. Thank god, now somebody might be able to stop this movie. Cut to commercial!
      Pax tells them he's from the future, which of course, they don't believe, seeing as how their sane and all. The also naturally freak out when Pax tell them that the comet pretty much hits exactly on DC, which goes over about as well as a bowling ball landing on an elderly woman head. When the agents discover that the signature on the money isn't fake, one suggest that the only logical answer is that Pax is actually from the future. Not that he's a really good counterfeit. That he's from the future. Where'd this guy get his training, Starfleet Academy? Everyone else naturally agrees.
      Elizabeth asks to see Pax on last time before he's thrown into all the prisons, which the Secret Service happily agrees to, removing the last, shivering strand of reality in this movie. Elizabeth gets all choked up when Pax tells him that he never lied to her, which she believes is true and not that he's a pathological liar like any other sane person would. This kiss one "last" time. Number 14: Crying. She leaves and another officer takes away Pax's wristband, taking his only way back to the future with him.
      The wristband activates and returns to the future without Pax, stranding him in 2012 and terribly confusing the Secret Service and Bob. Bob travels from the future to bring back Pax, traveling right into the Secret Service offices. No one believes Bob is from the future, despite him teleporting right into the head agent's office, with no other possible way in. Bob gets arrested with Pax, trapping them in the past. Again. Cut to commercial!
      The detrimental duo manage to escape from custody, somehow. Pax somehow manages to beat up an agent with no really effort in only one punch, before the film works in a brief, yet annoying anti-violence moment. Number 15: Cars. Pax struggles to get in, despite being in a car earlier. Numbers 17 and 18: Keys and seat belts. Having never driven ever before in a world where cars don't even exist, Bob manages to get Pax to Elizabeth in under 10 minutes, with the agents in hot pursuit. Granted, not in one piece but still. Pax tells Elizabeth that he loves her and asks her to come with him and Bob back to the future (Hah, again!).
      She rejects Pax, though reluctantly and the Secret Service show up right as the time wristwatch starts it's countdown. One agent pulls a dart gun (!) on Pax, despite Elizabeth's correct complaints that he's unarmed. Pax says goodbye, telling her he loves her again. The agent shoots a dart, right as Pax and Bob shock everyone by actually time traveling, sending the dart into Elizabeth's boyfriend's neck. Pax is back in the future, and upset, when Bob suggests a way he ca be with Elizabeth. Pax travels back to when Elizabeth meets her boyfriend, falling in love with her again, causing several time paradoxes, making the entire movie pointless, over-complicating something as simple as going back to when he left originally and dooming him and Elizabeth to die in 20 years when the meteor hits. Happy Valentines's Day everybody!

Drunk friends!
The Future Verdict

      My Future Boyfriend isn't as bad as it could have been, but wow is it stupid! The whole future society this movies predicts is woefully depressing and idiotic, with the whole world basically just existing. Sara Rue is surprisingly likable and is the best part of the movie by far, while Barry Watson plays Pax as a crazy person, even though we know he is actually from the future. As a result, Rue usually looks like a fool and the romance is never all that convincing. The sci-fi elements are horrible treated, like the writers didn't know anything about time travel other than what they saw in the back of a comic book. The logic is all over the place, never actually managing to stay together and leading to some astoundingly dumb moments, like the ending which manages to be one of the stupidest ending in a romantic comedy ever, let alone in sci-fi, as well as staggeringly depressing. My Future Boyfriend is not a movie for the ages. My Future Boyfriend gets 2 and a half stars out of 6. Happy Valentine's Day!


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