Millennium Bugs is a straightforward tale of failure and friendship, told in a standard dramatic story structure. Our protagonists have an existential problem, things get worse for them before they get better, and it all leads to a big cathartic blow-up, ending with our leads learning something about themselves.
On the cusp of change, a new era of technology is about to begin (they’re still using modems to get on the net), and an uncertain world has yet to be revealed. All this is to say Millennium Bugs tells a good story, focusing strictly on its protagonists. They’re people like you and me, going through a crossroads in life, and writer/director Marin conveniently uses the turning of a Millennium as a form of symbolism. The “Y2K” gimmick is just that a gimmick, and like the rest of the world at that time, no one really considered it a real threat.
“They come off as friends right from the start, and it makes the dramatic high point…all the more believable.”
If you’re in the mood for a good human drama, Millennium Bugs is worth a look. There’s nothing mind-blowing about the story. It’s merely a good story with good performances. As the film’s leads, Katy Erin and Michael Lovato make a good pairing. They come off as friends right from the start, and it makes the dramatic high point leading into the third act all the more believable. I love that Michael is of Mexican descent. Not because it checks off the diversity box, but because it feels like a real friendship, that would actually exist and leans into the expectations of his immigrant parents’ desire for him to be more than a stand-up comedian.
Millennium Bugs is a solid first feature and tells a good story. If I could give one piece of advice for writer/director Alejandro Montoya Marin, it would be this: now is the time to push the limits of storytelling with your next script. Dig deeper into your lead characters. Paint yourself into a storytelling corner and figure a way out. You have what it takes to write and direct, don’t get comfortable now. That said, it might have been interesting to have the world come to an end… at the end.
"…Y2K has very little to do with the story—no conspiracy stories here."