The Tomorrow Man (2019)
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As the story goes on he starts to like an old lady. He finds a way to make her notice him & he's as clingy as a teenager in his way. Ronnie (Blythe Danner) had a hard time in which she had lost her young daughter because of a rare disease & also her husband died of a cancer. They start liking & trusting each other & they both have a secret which later they reveal those to each other.
Ed is a man in control of everything & he knows what to do next but as the relationship progresses, he begins to feel the vicissitudes. Noble Jones did an impeccable job in writing & the screenplay seems so interesting. I highly recommend this movie if you wanna see a peaceful movie.
As an aging, secretive survivalist know it all, Ed spends most of his time on conspiracy internet boards, that is until he spies Ronnie at the local grocery store. Courting ensues, with all the magic and hurdles that come with any relationship.
Turns out there's more than one secret to be revealed which threatens a future for these lonely souls, and though the plot line is paint by numbers, there's a sweet innocence that saves this film. A bit of an unexpected ending helps wrap the whole thing up with a lovely bow.
Ed (Lithgow) and Ronnie (Danner) cross paths at the local grocery store where they each shop at an alarmingly frequent rate. It turns out Ed is preparing for doomsday and Ronnie is hoarder. As they spend time together, their fondness for each other grows, but we are never really sure if it's loneliness or connection that inspires the relationship between these two oddballs.
Despite both having a very serious approach to life, there are many moments of levity and sweetness, but also doses of reality that keep us off-balanced - just as life tends to. Ed proclaims the world would be such a disaster with ball bearings ... of course his view is a bit skewed since he spent 17 years on the business. Ronnie is brave enough to attend Thanksgiving dinner with Ed at his son's house, and the explosive family dynamics drive home the challenges of co-existing with others at any age. Many of us have family members that comfortably fit into either Camp Ed or Camp Ronnie.
Ed tells the new checkout clerk that it's "good to know your neighbor. You never know when you'll need them." His preparations for doom and gloom ... or as he calls it, SHTF ... are offset by Ronnie's sweetness, and a yard sale leads to the surprise ending. I originally saw this at the 2019 Dallas International Film Festival, and it's always a pleasure to welcome a new talented story teller to the cinematic world. Additionally, watching two talented actors play off each other is usually worth the price of a ticket, and as an added bonus, filmmaker Noble has finally found a good use for the song "Muskrat Love".
Couple of comments: this is the feature-length debut of writer-director-photographer Noble Jones. Here Jones brings a romance between 2 people "on the wrong side of 60", according to Ed ("There is no wrong side of 60!", reacts Ronnie). But more importantly these two couldn't be more different from each other: he is a guy who always worries about tomorrow, and hence cannot live in the moment. She on the other hand doesn't worry too much about anything. Potentially good premise, and then what? The... pretty much nothing, as it turns out. By the time we hit the hour mark, it feels like the movie should about end, and in a desperate movie, Nobles add an entire side story about Ed's son Brian and his family, which eventually goes poof! Thankfully we have two veteran performers in the lead role who seem to relish this and do the best they can with the material they are given. Kudos to Blythe Danner and John Lithgow (whom we just recently saw in "Late Night", albeit that was a much smaller role).
"The Tomorrow Man" premiered at this year's Sundance film festival to ho-hum reaction. It opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Sunday matinee performance where I saw this at was attended ok but not great (exactly 10 people, including myself), and mostly seniors I might add. Most of them seemed to thoroughly enjoy the film, laughing loudly on a number of times. If you are a fan of John Lithgow or Blythe Danner, I encourage you to see this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
Why I couldn't get into it, well, I was really turned off by Ronnie, Blythe Danner's character. She seemed as if she were either on sedating drugs, or was suffering from a vegetative depression, or had had a stroke, or was just plain dumb. Yes, she had ongoing sadness about the death of her daughter years before, but knowing this didn't make watching her more enjoyable for me. Perhaps she perked up as the movie went on... If she did, I can't help but wonder whether the low, dreary quality of her voice lifted.
Ed, John Lithgow's character, was the driving force in the relationship, at least initially. Being quite assertive, he bust through Ronnie's stupor and got her interested. Ed is supposed to be quirky, preparing for Doomsday in contrast to Ronnie's being into things, and the here and now.
Another thing that turned me off was that I had hoped to relate to them as being in the same generation. None (that I saw) of the usual features of the 'Baby Boom' generation were there, at least in the first thirty minutes. Perhaps this was intentional on the part of the writer, not wanting to fall into stereotypes. For me, though, it put them in a sort of generational vacuum, which I found disconcerting and distancing.
John Lithgow did an adequate acting job as usual, but this film was not Blythe Danner's finest moment. Or maybe it was and I just couldn't get into the character she played. Either way, it was money down the drain for me.
There is a nice little reference to the Twilight Zone which I found quite amusing - and if you are a fan of Lithgows & Twilight Zone - you will recall his brilliant performance in Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Other than that - for 95 minutes of awkward weirdness you can knock your self out with this forgettable piece of garbage - and there is alot of that in this movie
Why does the character of Ronnie have ZERO PERSONALITY? What is wrong with her voice? Why is it so weak and croaky sounding? I'm sorry, but she seems like a total wash-out. She has no interests or hobbies or opinions or charm or ANYTHING! (And her fashion sense is atrocious)...like an old lady from sixty years ago, maybe.
There is no plot. No chemistry. No good character development. Very little humor, once you get past the beginning. No suspense. And why is John Lithgow's cliché of a family tossed in like that? It's such bad writing, that it's cringe-worthy.
I'm sorry. I really wanted to like this movie. I think there should be movies about people of all ages in our society, I really do! But why do the movies about older people have to fall so flat....like day-old soda? What makes John Lithgow's character think there is going to be an apocalypse, anyway? That is never even explored! And wouldn't Ronnie want to know WHY he thinks the world is about to come to an end? Why doesn't she ask the normal questions a person would ask?