Molly's Theory of Relativity

Molly's Theory of Relativity (2013)

Opened: 03/01/2013 Limited

Angelika/NYC03/01/2013 - 03/07/20137 days
Village East03/08/2013 - 03/14/20137 days
Royal Theatre03/29/2013 - 04/04/20137 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Drama

Rated: Unrated

There's A Little Bit Of Molly In Everyone

MOLLY'S THEORY OF RELATIVITY is a sexy, funny, surreal, and devastating portrait of a beautiful twenty-eight-year-old astronomer who, having unexpectedly lost her job, is poised to make perhaps the first reckless decision of her life. Her story unfolds during an eighteen-hour period, on Halloween. Providing counsel on the fateful day are her husband, her father-in-law, three deceased relatives, a precocious nine-year-old trick-or-treater, her grandfather from Minot, North Dakota, and an eight-year-old neighbor, who may or may not be imaginary. "Molly's Theory of Relativity" is about the economy, and how we value what we do for a living, to ourselves and to others. It observes the unbreakable bonds of family, and posits the notion that death is merely a relative thing.


For almost 20 years Molly Bluefield has been on a winning streak. Her husband, Zack, has been along for the ride. But, Molly, a successful astrophysicist, has been unfairly dismissed from her enviable position. Zack has picked up the baton and now supports the two of them, but the sources of his support are empty and soulless. The pain each of the two feel for the other's plight is too much to bear so they make the only rash and inelegant decision they've ever made, a decision which the couple is still grappling with today, on Halloween.

Their bedroom windows are covered over in corrugated moving boxes. On one of the living room walls a wish list has been painted, in beautiful hand-written calligraphy. It includes wistful jocular asides, nostalgic notions, and an oft-considered taboo sex act, one that requires consummate trust to be experienced pleasurably, and without pain.

As day breaks they enjoy sensual comfort in each other's arms, their ongoing mutual carnal cravings even after five years of marriage welcome, even as an eerie foreboding creeps into their bedroom cocoon. Molly and Zack seem not to want to actually allow this particular morning to proceed or to end. Until the doorbell rings.

Zack's father, Asher, arrives and an impromptu intervention unfolds. In an emotional and verbally violent demonstration of transference Zack blames his father for years of spousal failure (his mother long-since passed away), and for his failure to properly provide for his children's future. It is an exorcism of pent-up emotions that should have occurred long ago. Molly has to choose sides and, until his accusations are proven wrong or his allegations false, she is prepared to stand by her husband, quite literally, until death do they part.

During the ensuing cool-down period Molly and Zack describe the recent calamities that have led to their decision to abandon their home and restart their lives from scratch. It's the last day of the month (traditionally the scariest day of the year...coincidentally). They plan to vacate their apartment and move to Loen, Norway. To a country far from the one that has so radically changed for them and which has threatened the shared passions which brought them together in the first place -- the joys of travel, and the unfettered freedom that comes with it. For Zack it's the magic of exploring colorful cultures far from his own, for Molly it's the discovery and observation of the galaxies she seeks to understand.

A nine-year-old trick-or-treater, Ruby Judith Wheeler, a girl who clearly shares Molly's unquenchable thirst for knowledge (and her occasional tactless sense of curiosity) arrives in costume, dressed as Albert Einstein. She is followed shortly by her grandfather, Boris Pasternak, an avuncular, salt-of-the-Earth pragmatist. Ironically, he shares many of the same values as Asher while executing the same minimum wage responsibilities as Zack. Unlike Zack, though, he finds soul-satisfying enrichment in his work. He preaches what he practices, including a steadfast support of his recently orphaned granddaughter. It is of paramount importance to him that she eventually return her to her roots and to teach her farming, the lifelong profession of her parents. Molly and Zack have little choice but to invite Asher, Ruby, and Boris to join them for dinner, perhaps a last supper in this residence.

Stepping into the apartment building's hallway, en route to the compactor room, Molly hears a loud trampling noise emanating from the stairwell. Zack, Asher, and Ruby follow Molly to discover the source of the cacophony. They meet an eight-year-old boy, Chet, whom Molly maintains is her neighbor, the one she hears through her bedroom wall, but who Zack has always believed is a fanciful figment of her imagination. Regardless, Molly's takes a maternal interest in this boy, one just young enough to be her own son. Ruby, clearly envious of this vulnerable and adorable, albeit possibly imaginary, attention-grabbing interloper follows him to his apartment where she first challenges his motives, then befriends him as a kindred spirit.

As dinner nears, Molly receives a call, an offer for a job interview, a job that would also require relocation -- not to Norway but to Princeton, New Jersey, a new option that suddenly places pressure on Zack to reveal to his wife the real cause of his ambivalence to escape.

Just before dinner (a Jewish meal being prepared in the kitchen by Molly's deceased grandmother Sylvie, a room that is both her domain and her prison, in life as in death) Molly is changed into her beautiful dress by her deceased mother Natasha, a woman who found a trade as a craftswoman in the final years of her too-short life, creative work that both beguiled her daughter and made her daughter proud.

What began as Jewish delicacies in the kitchen, as if by some other-worldly magic, becomes a gastronomic cornucopia of French delights on the dinner table. During dinner the guests are regaled with anecdotes of the alchemy that first brought Zack and Molly together and how their mutual wanderlust was the primary catalyst. They learn of the solitary travel adventures Asher has planned for his retirement, how Asher met Zack's mom, and how her spirit still blissfully pervades his life. We become privy to exactly what had come so easy to Molly for so many years, until the events of this year. And we're taught how to say "trick-or-treat" in Norwegian.

As dinner winds down Molly escorts Ruby into her bedroom to privately counsel her about womanhood, about self-confidence, and about the fragility of the male ego. Asher, in a poignant replay of a tableau long since abandoned but fondly recalled, bathes his son, and an emotional, resonant, and spiritual rapprochement is attained.

The wheels are now set in motion and the stage is now set for the two lovers, husband and wife, to make a final decision, to once more demonstrate absolute trust in one another, both in word and deed, and to possibly celebrate such a strong bond that rivals celestial miracles, of the sort that Molly uncovers, catalogues and embraces each and every day.