This slightly surreal time travel comedy is a lot of fun and is easier to follow than most forays into the genre.
Dean brings his girlfriend Lana back to the motel where they spent a wonderful anniversary the year before. It is now derelict (and actually doesn't look like a place where they might have had a perfect vacation). Lana wants to head to the beach but Dean is determined to follow his meticulous schedule, even amongst the rubble, and he convinces Lana to give it a try. Dean wants to use his new invention to record their perfect evening, which is already not that perfect and gets worse when Lana's ex Terry shows up. It's a three hour drive and they haven't dated for four years but he is as determined as Dean. Lana and Dean fight and she leaves with Terry.
Disconsolate, Dean spends the next year building a time machine to return to the previous year and do the day right. He learns that his future self has already caused some of the problems in the past and, in a series of misunderstandings not unworthy of a farce, he continues to try again. Soon there are four or five Deans who all wants Lana (there are a few of her too) but even when he has won Lana over again there are temporal complications.
The Infinite Man is immensely enjoyable. It's short! The dialogue is sharp and the acting great. It's often very funny. It's actually possible to keep track of which Dean is which and how each change he makes snowballs in effect. The story is reminiscent of Philip K. Dick as a fable about fantastic speculative science used to repair something mundane, such as a romance. The film takes place entirely at the motel and its geographic focus is very effective in keeping the story tight.
Director Hugh Sullivan has made the film mostly realistic with just enough off-kilter elements. Dean doesn't have too much trouble convincing one of the Lanas to live in the ruined motel with him for a year while they wait for the time loops to sort themselves out. They seem to have no lives outside of this situation. The motel is in the middle of empty outback scrubland with no amenities and no apparent reason to exist. A hideous landscape painting reminds us of the beach that Lana would prefer to visit and sits in stark contrast. Everyone wears the same clothes for the whole film.
See it October 9th at 9:15pm at the Rio Theatre.