John Lithgow plays Ed, who is obsessed with planning ahead for the disastrous turn of events that he fears coming. But what about the present?
Blythe Danner is cast as the likable but loner Ronnie, a woman who enjoys staying at home and watching war documentaries. The two meet in a supermarket. Ed falls for her and persuades her to have coffee with him. After some tentative romantic sparring with the potential of a relationship lurking, the two become closer.
Ed harbors a secret, which he finally reveals to Ronnie. He has a garage stored with food for a future emergency. As they become more and more a couple, Ed’s concern with what lies ahead, fueled by internet influence of survival extremists, increasingly disturbs Ronnie.
She needs to live in her present and their relationship teeters. But the film’s writer-director Noble Jones has serious stuff on his mind and develops the film accordingly. What if Ed’s fears are well-grounded? There is a side angle of Ed’s troubled relationship with his son, who resists his father’s relentless gabbing about the future.
“The Tomorrow Man” is a patently contrived tale. But when there are excellent actors like Lithgow and Danner as oldsters, the performances can at least hold one’s interest no matter what one thinks of the flimsy story and phony climax that stresses what is important is finding happiness in the momentary present under threat of eclipse. A Bleecker Street Media release. Reviewed May 22, 2019.