My Future Boyfriend is one of those TV movies that's so terrible, it's practically a masterpiece. The story of a man from the year 3127 who travels back to 2011 to meet the author of a romance book, Future Boyfriend is almost rhapsodic in its illogic and cheesiness. It's easily the best bad TV movie of the year. See for yourself!
This gem aired on ABC Family earlier this year, and it's now available on Netflix Streaming. And it's just astonishing and ludicrous and fantastic. Barry Watson (Samantha Who, Seventh Heaven) completely commits to the "aspy/zany future guy" role. And Sara Rue (Popular) just packs as much zing as possible into lines like, "I have no intention of explaining sex to a grown man one more time in my life."
Bad movies are a particular source of pleasure for many of us — not just because we enjoy laughing at them, but also because they go so far over the top, they define the limits of what's possible in a narrative. And some of the most thrilling bad movies are made for television, featuring good or great actors with a rock-bottom budget and a corny script. And something like My Future Boyfriend just cries out to be recycled and referenced by other, better movies and TV shows. It's the perfect example of TV-movie silliness at its absolute best.
So in My Future Boyfriend, Watson plays PAX, an archeologist from 3127 who excavates a cruise ship in the desert that used to be the Pacific Ocean. In it, he finds an amazingly well-preserved copy of a romance novel from 2011 — seriously, what are the chances that any book would still be in near-mint condition 1100 years from now, let alone one printed on cheap paper? In any case, PAX reads Forbidden Love and becomes obsessed with understanding the concept of "love," which has been outlawed in 3127. (Nobody seems to think this is a problem or anything, they just sort of pat him on the head.) Eventually, PAX convinces Fred Willard to help him go back in time so he can meet the author of the romance novel, and ask her about love.
It is here that we encounter a couple of huge coincidences: 1) Elizabeth, the romance author, is also a reporter with a News of the World-style magazine that reports on things like Elvis having sex with aliens. Her magazine, Strange Times, is incredibly well funded and has a huge office and staff, so she has a team of minions to deal with the waiting room full of people like The Ghost of Adolf Hitler. When a man turns up claiming to be from 3127, Elizabeth doesn't demand any proof — but she does clear her schedule and spend the rest of the day swanning around with PAX. 2) Elizabeth's book has just come out today, and tomorrow her fiance (who's clearly wrong for her) is going to Pop The Question.
The premise, and most of the execution, doesn't really bear much thinking about. And yet, everybody throws themselves into it with such eagerness, it's sort of impossible not to get swept along. (It helps that the whole thing is just one hour and 15 minutes without commercials.) Does PAX discover the meaning of true love? Does Elizabeth wind up marrying the guy who's clearly wrong for her? Can these crazy kids work it out, even though PAX keeps doing inappropriate stuff like talking to lamps and dancing in public? Gosh, I wouldn't want to spoil it or anything — but you can probably guess the answer to all of those questions.
And yet, even in its sheer predictability, the friendly dottiness of My Future Boyfriend is sort of refreshing. And you have to love any movie where Fred Willard gets to say, "Indescribable things are best left indescribable."