The Future

July's long-awaited followup to her wonderful debut Me and You and Everyone We Know is every bit a proper Miranda July work, in that it explores her usual obsessions with communication, loneliness, guilt, sexuality, and repulsive '80s fashion. But it takes a murkier, gloomier path than her last film.

July once again stars, this time as a woman in an empty relationship with her live-in boyfriend (Hamish Linklater, battling July for title of "sloppiest indie haircut"). They have decided to adopt an injured cat, but have to wait a month for the cat's paw to heal at the shelter before they can take him home. (In a move that seems cutesy at first, but becomes increasingly unsettling, the cat himself – voiced by July – narrates the film.)

Stricken by the realization that adopting this cat is the first step towards becoming a boring old couple – not that they aren't already – July and Linklater decide to "live it up" during their final month of irresponsibility, which entails quitting their jobs and... well, let's just say making some bad decisions. But not in any way that is particularly compelling.

Miranda July is a very creative person with a very interesting worldview, and The Future is peppered with intriguing ideas, but the warmth and community in Me and You have gone missing. The Future is a less accessible work, deliberately paced and claustrophobic, with little joy to be had.

I'm fine with downer movies, and I'm pretty sure I understand what July was going for here, but her work – not just Me and You, but her art and writing as well – usually strikes a chord with me, so I'm sad to report that this film left me cold.