While it could be tempting to simply label Maybe Tomorrow as yet another millennial angst film, there's more going on in this 79-minute indie flick co-written and directed by Caitlin Farrugia and and Michael Jones.
Patrick (Vateresio Tuikaba) is convinced that there's no need to sacrifice the creative spirit he shares with his wife, Ein (Tegan Crowley), even after the birth of their first child, Luna. Deep in pre-production of a self-funded film, Patrick spends most of his days caring for Luna while immersing himself in isolating producties duties while Erin balances a day job, being the breadwinner, and casting calls.
It would seem that Patrick is mostly stressed out by not being able to give himself fully to his creative journey, while Erin's stress seems more borne out of a desire to give herself more to a stable life of parenting, marriage and a not quite stimulating but at least manageable work life.
What's a married couple to do?
Such is essentially the question in this 79-minute motion picture, which is really just getting started on the indie festival circuit and which falls easily within the universe of previous flicks by Farrugia and Jones (Lazybones). Maybe Tomorrow is a statement, really, that is far from exclusive to millennials and can cover everything from that late night "Should we have sex?" to "Is this really the time for us to chase our dreams?"
Crowley's an absolute gem here as Erin, embodying her weary angst with a idealistic spirit that occasionally feels all chewed up and frayed. Crowley feels absolutely believable here...you know here and you probably have friends just like here. You may very well have friends just like Tuikaba's Patrick, as well, whose aversion to anything resembling responsibility makes Erin's role as the breadwinner make sense but inevitably filled with tension. Tuikaba plays Patrick as the kind of guy you can't help but like even when he pisses you off.
Oh, and yeah, he'd piss you off in real life for sure.
While I've used the word angst a couple of times already, rest assured that Maybe Tomorrow is no self-indulgent mumblecore. Farrugia and Jones have given us a film that plays universally and features more than its share of both sweetness and even humor. For all his flaws, Tuibaka's Patrick cares about being both a good husband and a good dad even if there's certain parts of the deal that don't seem to come quite naturally. Crowley and Tuikaba make for a believable, even rather adorable, couple and their conflicts in both parenting and filmmaking feel authentic and meaningful. You can't help but root for them even if you have this little voice inside your head wondering how they can possibly make this all work and survive it all as a family.
Winner of Best Australian Indie Film during its world premiere at the Gold Coast Film Festival, Maybe Tomorrow is an engaging, entertaining film that should have no problem building a successful festival run as it continues along its fest journey. Kudos to both Farrugia and Jones for their solid scripting and directorial work here, along with Jones's warm, immersive lensing for the film.
For more information on Maybe Tomorrow, visit the film's official website linked to in the credits.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic