The Wrong Todd isn’t concerned with the hard and fast rules of parallel universe jumping. It doesn’t need to be. In its stripped down format, those big science fiction details are only the vehicle for telling a lovely story about friendship, grief, moving on, and finding your place in the world.
Written and directed by Rob Schulbaum, the film follows Todd (Jesse Rosen), who’s just been told by his girlfriend Lucy (Anna Rizzo) that she’s been offered a promotion in Seattle, all the way across the country from where they live in Providence. She wants to take it and she wants Todd to go with her. Todd, who’s never even left the state he currently resides in, is upset that she’s springing this on him. They fight. Todd leaves to confide in slacker best friend Dave (Sean Carmichael), also Lucy’s brother. But before Lucy and Todd have time to settle their disagreement, Todd is confronted by his other self from a parallel universe, who has traveled far and wide to take Todd’s place beside Lucy. Other Todd kidnaps Todd and sends him to his universe, where Dave now has a moustache, wife and kid and where Lucy has been dead for three years.
What’s so genuine about The Wrong Todd is how it subtly shows the differences between the universes — not in any physical sense, but in the way certain events effect the people in the story. It’s a film that deals with two versions of its characters, but each version feels fully realized as the characters struggle with grief, loss, and learning how to support each other. But this story is about friendship more than anything; Other Dave feels guilty for not being there for Other Todd, letting him spiral through his grief without any support. When he meets Todd, Other Dave learns how better to support his friend.
Todd, finding himself suddenly in a world without Lucy, must confront how he’s pretty close to losing her in his own world as well, and must fight his way back to her. These differences are there for you to recognize, but the film doesn’t explicitly call them out, letting the matters of the universe just be.
The synopsis of this film refers to Other Todd as Todd’s evil twin, but The Wrong Todd rightly gives Other Todd some depth and understanding. Lucy, despite not having another version of herself to mirror her character growth, gets some room to grow, as well. There’s great laughs and touching moments, moving performances and downright wacky sci-fi. Ultimately, The Wrong Todd is a small but mighty film with a lot of heart.