I recently interviewed Eve Harlow about her role in Noble Jones’ feature-length filmmaking debut The Tomorrow Man, a romantic drama starring John Lithgow and Blythe Danner. Harlow and I agreed that it’s pretty lame to assume movies starring older actors are for older audiences. However, for me, that argument starts to fold in on itself when filmmakers pander towards a specific demographic – The Tomorrow Man does just that.
While The Tomorrow Man is accessible for anybody, writer/director Jones scrapes the surface of his story and presents it as a sweet and quirky film. It’s a reasonable move for a first-timer striving to make a nice movie that their parents would approve of, but it doesn’t feel like the production is on the same page. For instance, Lithgow and Danner – both exceptional actors – give nuanced performances that add detail to their personal arcs. Both characters are loners dealing with their own psychological complexities who learn how to come out of their shell when they finally meet each other. But, instead of building on this dynamic, Noble Jones would rather play on broader emotional beats to tell a simple story about a new and innocent relationship.
Since Jones is running the show, his vision ultimately wins; making The Tomorrow Man into lightweight fare with easy aspirations. A more heartfelt version of this story could be told. Luckily, Jamison M. LoCascio did so in last year’s home release sleeper Sunset.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie