Created by Alan Yang (Parks and Recreation, Master of None) and Matt Hubbard (30 Rock) which played on Amazon Video, this is a dark comedy that you would not want to know anything about it and just dig in. Starring Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen, two of the funniest people on earth, they play this, boring and funny at the same time, married couple in their common lives.
Let’s just talk about the very first scene—continuous pan through how they meet and the marriage afterwards. You can pretty much know everything about the characters, the story and the tone from these few minutes. June (Maya Rudolph) and Oscar (Fred Armisen) are married over a decade, and they have these traditions like having the same dinner routine and the fishing trip at the lake house, over and over again. It is clear to see that Oscar is the one who is almost excited about keeping the ritual and June is dying in this tedious marriage. Then, when June finally suggests a bit of difference for the fishing trip, something happens.
Here begins the best twist. The way they depict the afterlife is nothing like I have ever seen; the perspective is completely from the “ghost side” and you start to feel sympathies for all the horror films you have watched. They build the ground rules for this world by introducing Oscar’s best friend, Mark, for instance, if you concentrate enough, you can touch things in the present world to scare them. Before long, you will find out that, nothing has changed, even after death. They live exactly the same lives as before and June starts to wake up.
There comes the wonderful surprise, Kase (Catherine Keener), the rebellious neighbour next door. She brings the revolution in the story, showing that they can extract the energy from “the current” (alive humans) and eventually leading the audience to another place, Oceanside, where everyone is dancing and happy and forgetting their miserable past. Everything seems fine but odd, and as you can imagine, June ultimately leaves.
The cinematography is quite surprising, especially in the scene they are doing the “ocean stand”. The colour and the choices of songs give the warmth that draws you in. The part I love the most is those small talks. “What do you think is the all-time best way to sit ever?” “I wonder what the all-time best beach food is.” Then, they just start the discussion on these seemingly unrelated subjects, and guess what, they turn out to be amazingly hilarious!
Besides the entertaining scripts, Rudolph and Armisen are just marvellous, as expected. They already act beside each other for years (just watch them on Saturday Night Live!). It is really satisfying to see them cooperating again on such a great comedy. And who doesn’t love Catherine Keener? With her husky voice, she wins the audience’s hearts again. Ever since seeing Being John Malkovich, I found that she got this magic to be able to charm the viewers by how she presents herself.
Forever is going to make you laugh hard and then realize, this is still life, just like yours.
Definitely a must-see this year!