Posted by: ckckred | February 4, 2014

Tomorrow Night

still_chuck

Fame and fortune hasn’t changed Louis C. K., whose hit sitcom Louie is the best comedy on television currently.  The comedian has kept his bear-bones self-deprecating comic routine that made him a star from the beginning of his career to his role in American Hustle.  Where Louis C. K. succeeds is that he’s a relatable guy to audiences (in Louie he plays a single dad struggling in day to day life).  Tomorrow Night, Louis C. K.’s first movie that debuted back in 1998 only to abruptly enter obscurity, has the mark of the comedian but it lacks the focus.  Made on a miniscule budget and featuring many peculiar gags and characters, Tomorrow Night has the same feel of an episode of Louie without the tightness.  While Tomorrow Night is a bold experiment, it pales to Louis C. K.’s other work.

Chuck Sklar stars as Charles, a Pittsburgh repairman for cameras and developer of pictures.  Charles runs his workshop in solitude and angrily dismisses and lashes out against the world.  The only gratitude he gets is from a bowl of ice cream, which he gets sexual pleasure from (I will spare you the details, but they’re enough to turn you lactose intolerant).  When trying to get rid of old photos that customers have left behind, Charles meets Florence (Martha Greenhouse), an elderly women who long suffers under her maniac husband (Joseph Dolphin).  Her dimwitted son Willie (Greg Hahn) had protected her in the past but when he joined the army twenty years earlier she never heard from him again (as it turns out, any of Willie’s attempts to send her a letter was thwarted by two mailmen played by Steve Carell and Robert Smigel).

Tomorrow Night is a pretty experimental piece, which Slate deemed like it was if “David Lynch had traveled back in time to collaborate with Sergei Eisenstein.”  The black and white cinematography offers hints to Woody Allen’s Manhattan, which Tomorrow Night also bears in style.  There are plenty of scenic shots (while set in Pittsburgh, it’s easy to tell that the locations are all in New York) and comic bits (including Louis C. K. washing off the sidewalk with a hose and then spraying a pedestrian played by Amy Poehler).  The effort behind Tomorrow Night shows how devoted Louis C. K. was for his project and he certainly got much with his budget.

However, Tomorrow Night is also very amateurish.  Shots are overexposed, the sound mixing is sometime off, dialogue grows repetitive, and some of the acting seems awkward.  The plot of Tomorrow Night often feels random and bumpy: few character motivations are explained (Charles’ fetish for ice cream is never really clarified) and certain actions are completely unexpected.

Looking back, Tomorrow Night had a cast of talented actors on the brink of stardom (I already mentioned Carell, Poehler, and Smigel; J. B. Smoove also makes an appearance as a wisecracking mailman) and it’s not a boring.  But it’s hurt by the high standards Louis C. K. has set today and unfortunately fails by that comparison.

You can buy Tomorrow Night for $5 on Louis C. K.’s website.

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Responses

  1. Nice review. I really don’t know much about the guy other than what I’ve seen in “American Hustle” and “Blue Jasmine”. He seems like a pretty funny guy.

    • Thanks! I think Louis C. K. is the funniest guy working today. This isn’t a strong introduction to his work though. I would recommend seeing some of his stand-up or show first.

  2. I wouldn’t compare this to Louis C.K.’s current work, but . . . this still sounds like one from which I’m going to stay away. Good review.

    • Thanks! I think it’s worth a look if you’re a big Louis C. K. fan like myself, but it’s not near the quality of his recent stuff.

  3. It is cool to read that Smigel and Carell are in this and I am curious to watch it. I just dont think I could spend 5 dollars to do so. Nice review

    • Thanks! I think it’s well-worth the price, especially since Louis C. K. allows you to download the video directly off his site. The scene with Carell and Smigel is price-less.

  4. Interesting stuff my friend. Great review 🙂

  5. Not that aware of his work other than the odd thing to be honest but seems a cool guy! Nice post man.

    • Thanks! He’s definitely a really cool guy and even let people download his movie off his website. This isn’t up to the high standard of his TV show or stand-up though but it’s worth watching.


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