Set in the last week of 1999, best friends Kelly and Miguel find themselves on the cusp of their future. Kelly has been floating through life after her parent’s death. Drowning herself in alcohol and drugs. When her inheritance money runs out, Kelly is slapped with the realities of her actions. Her best friend Miguel is torn between his immigrant parent’s expectations and his dream to become a comedian. The pressure to pursue his dreams while defying the sacrifices his parents made for him pushes Miguel to the brink. Together, Kelly and Miguel along the rest of the world find themselves wondering what’s next.
There’s an expression you may have heard, “Friends are family we get to choose for ourselves.” While it could be argued, present-day, that due to technology, we are more disconnected than ever but that wasn’t the case in the 90s. I find it rather amusing that as 1999 was coming to a close we feared technology as we thought it was going to be the cause of the end of the world, and now we rely on it for everything. Anyway, there was a simpler time, a golden time where friends were your whole life, video stores were thriving, and the internet squealed at you before you hit the chatrooms. Alejandro Montoya Marin’s Millennium Bugs captures the depth of friendship and the nostalgia of the 90s effortlessly in this doomsday comedy. Taking place on the last week of 1999, the film is filled with the weirdly endearing pessimism and angst of Daria along with an unusual friendship that is also a perfect match.
The film screams 90s without leaning on the era as a crutch. With its transportive soundtrack and dive bars, Millennium Bugs is a boozy last hoorah adventure that is full of heart. Exploring the ups and downs of friendship that might not exist after December 31st, the film lives in the moment and worries about the fallout later. When nervous about the future and scarred by the past, a great friend is always there to help you through the tough times. They’re also there to give you a kick in the ass and bust your chops when needed as well. This dynamic is prevalent throughout the film and hopefully in your life as well. The film is well written with its timeless themes and its cinematography fits perfectly with its setting. Overall, the film is very enjoyable, especially if you were at least middle school age in the 90s. It’s rewatchability is medium-high.
Plot & Pace
After the loss of her parents, Kelly has been floating aimlessly through life. Having now run through her inheritance because of bad investments and thoughtless depending, she must for the first time take responsibility for her missteps. However, things aren’t all bad, she has her best friend Miguel by her side. Miguel has his own set of issues and as the possible end approaches their friendship will be tested.
I thought the film was paced very well. There really aren’t any dull moments. Feels like a road trip film without the trip.
Characters & Chemistry
Kelly (Katy Erin) and Miguel (Michael Lovato) seem like an unlikely friendship on the surface. Not because of their appearance but their outlook on life is very different. However, the balance each other out. Their yin and yang of their relationship makes for great chemistry. Both Erin and Lovato put on great performances.
Millennium Bugs is currently making its rounds on the festival circuit.
Director: Alejandro Montoya Marin
Writer: Alejandro Montoya Marin
Runtime: 1h 33m
Rating: 4 out of 5