Love and Monsters, 2020 – ★★★★½

Love and Monsters may feel especially timely, as it’s about going forth from your bunker into the big scary world, but this apocalypse movie is an absolute delight. First and foremost, Boy, the dog, is amazing and DOES NOT DIE, giving us the warm and fuzzies we were denied by I Am Legend. Joel’s Quixotic quest to find his high school girlfriend 7 years on is adorably naive, and like most road trip movies, it’s more about the journey than the destination. Along the way he meets young girl Minnow who teaches him how to shoot, and a rare non-bastard performance from Michael Rooker who teaches him how to be brave. The special effects are really great, both in creature design and not being obvious CGI (for the most part.) Shares a lot of base story DNA with 2011’s Monsters, and I believe pays homage to that film in a scene of pretty spectacular beauty. While a message of learning to defend yourself, identifying true threats vs perceived, seeing what’s truly important, and find your chosen family may not have resonated so hard had I been in a theater without covid, but like Bill & Ted Face the Music, sometimes a movie comes along that is just right for its time.

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