Seeing Anthony Mackie’s name in the credits was an instant sell for me. I was thrilled to attend the second screening of the romantic space comedy (yes you read that right) IF YOU WERE THE LAST at the Paramount Theatre during SxSW 2023.

ABOUT: Adam and Jane are three years into a NASA mission that has gone very wrong. Their ship is broken and now they drift between Jupiter and Saturn, finding ways to pass the time as they become more certain that no one is coming to save them. Adam paints, Jane attempts to repair the ship. They argue over what movies to watch. And every day, they dance. One day, Adam poses that maybe they should sleep together. Jane laughs the idea off — why mess up their great dynamic just to add one more (admittedly very fun) activity to their list of time-passing options? Thus begins a friendly, flirty debate about whether they’re better off spending their remaining days as friends or something more.

Jason Whyte | Get Reel Movies IF YOU WERE THE LAST Q&A at the Paramount in Austin. Kristian Mercado, center.

Reaction: A fun and delightful romantic comedy that opens with two NASA space explorers who are knowingly stranded on their ship which is lost in space. The majority of the story is whether these two will wind up sleeping with each other, a major conflict as both of them have relationships back home. Mackie has his great sense of humour here but Zoe Chao also has a lot of laughs here with and the two of them have a solid chemistry with a bit of tension unfolding. Some may react to the infidelity and where it leads, but I really liked how that all played out and it’s great to see big Marvel star Anthony Mackie in a smaller picture. Kudos to filmmaker Kristian Mercado (in his debut movie) for creating such a visually interesting space with hand-drawing, animation and near Wes Anderson like set pieces on the ship to hide around its low budget filmmaking, even going so far as to have different aspect ratios in space and when at home. Right now this is still in festivals and I hope gets picked up with Mackie’s star power to find a release to theatres. 

This film and many others like it will be showing at South By Southwest taking place March 10-19. For more information point your browser to!

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