Every year, out in the glorious mountains of Park City in the brisk cold evenings of January, we always expect THAT one film, which perfectly encapsulates the indie American Sundance spirit. In previous years, we’ve received several entries to this specific classification, including films such as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Little Miss Sunshine, and The Spectacular Now. With the summer season coming into full force, with July just around the corner, many films submitted and selected at this year’s festival in Utah, are now finally being released for the general public. This obviously means an increase in theater attendance, from both elders and youth alike, who crave audience festival favorites. With hits such as Brittany Runs a Marathon and Blinded By The Light, Sundance fan’s will be pleased with the multiple releases from this year’s festival in the upcoming months.
However, there’s one film in particular, that has gone under the radar since it premiered earlier this year. This very film is The Tomorrow Man, a predictable but gentle rom-com, that specifically aims to please the elder demographic. In essence, it’s an admirable story about a relationship between a man who can’t stop thinking/planning for the future, and a woman who can’t stop hoarding her past. The concept for the film is cute, albeit cliched, yet the end product is somehow more peculiar than what you would expect.
Shot like a modern Lynne Ramsay film, with a visually stark color palette and swift camera movements; directing and cinematography wise, the film never seems to come together, in terms of it’s bubbly and at times nihilistic nature. Nothing feels compatible stylistically, creating deeper problems within some of its problematic story beats. The “inciting incident” of this film, feels more stalkerish than endearing, a contrarian point of view to the ever-evolving Me Too movement. Being part of a conspiracy theory group is one thing. Actively sneaking upon an innocent bystander for self validation and romantic insinuation is just not okay.
Outdated in terms of it’s dialogue, musical score, and problematic narrative plot beats, yet somehow sweet and somber in its core, The Tomorrow Man is a deeply conflicting film that manages to take it’s viewers on roller-coaster ride of mixed, uncomfortable emotions. It’s neither disgraceful, nor abhorrent, but the general questions arisen from the film, make it less of a crowd-pleaser, and more of a beguiling headscratcher. Subjectivity is always key for any film, yet with The Tomorrow Man, audiences will be desperately searching for something less obscure when the credits role, rather than sitting through yet another indie from the point of view of a pathetic elder man, consumed by the male-gaze.
The Tomorrow Man opens in Select Canadian cinemas this Friday