Thursday, May 6, 2021

Here Today Review: Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish Headline A Heartfelt Drama

Sharon Stone	...	Sharon Stone Penn Badgley	Penn Badgley	...	Rex Billy Crystal	Billy Crystal	...	Charlie Berns Tiffany Haddish	Tiffany Haddish	...	Emma Payge Laura Benanti	Laura Benanti	...	Francine Kevin Kline	Kevin Kline	...	Kevin Kline Barry Levinson	Barry Levinson	...	Barry Levinson Louisa Krause	Louisa Krause	...	Carrie Joanna Adler	Joanna Adler	...	Director Shiloh Verrico	Shiloh Verrico	...	Young Francine Anna Deavere Smith	Anna Deavere Smith	...	Dr. Vidor Susan Pourfar	Susan Pourfar	...	Paula Lisann Valentin	Lisann Valentin	...	Paramedic Tijuana Ricks	Tijuana Ricks	...	Nurse Nyambi Nyambi	Nyambi Nyambi	...	Dwayne St. John

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 117 minutes        
Directed by: Billy Crystal
Screenplay by: Billy Crystal, Alan Zweibel
Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, Penn Badgley, Laura Benanti, Louisa Krause, Anna Deavere Smith, Nyambi Nyambi

When veteran comedy writer Charlie Burnz (Billy Crystal) meets New York singer Emma Payge (Tiffany Haddish), they form an unlikely yet hilarious and touching friendship that kicks the generation gap aside and redefines the meaning of love and trust.

Alex Brightman	...	Justin Matthew Broussard	Matthew Broussard	...	Roger Bob Costas	Bob Costas	...	Bob Costas Grayson Eddey	Grayson Eddey	...	Harry Tony Naumovski	Tony Naumovski	...	Igor the Russian Driver Gianmarco Soresi	Gianmarco Soresi	...	Lenny Brandon Uranowitz	Brandon Uranowitz	...	Gary Steven Castillo	Steven Castillo		 Audrey Hsieh	Audrey Hsieh	...	Lindsay Andrew Durand	Andrew Durand	...	Darrell Josh Lamon	Josh Lamon	...	Pharmacist Giovanni Michael Abate	Giovanni Michael Abate	...	Boy Scout Andy Grotelueschen	Andy Grotelueschen	...	Doctor Dominic DiGravio	Dominic DiGravio	...	Cub Scout Cindy Motz	Cindy Motz	...	Band Member Justin Linville	Justin Linville		 Max Gordon Moore	Max Gordon Moore	...	Brad Reg Clinton Brown	Reg Clinton Brown	...	Band Audience Member
Here Today has some star power behind it, but the main star is Tiffany Haddish.  Although Crystal will receive top billing--and his performance is not bad--Haddish adds something extra to this movie.  She has the energy and relatability to make this film a much more enjoyable experience.  And the dynamic between these two is really fun to see.  It skirts the line but thankfully never delves into something more than it should be; the relationship between Crystal and Haddish feels beautiful and genuine.  

Here Today feels like a swan song for Crystal, and I think it definitely is.  Playing a character that is starting to feel the effects of age seems like an appropriate goodbye act for the man.  And Here Today has a lot to like, but it definitely has some rough edges.  For one, for a comedy the film is just not that funny.  There are some genuinely funny scenes, but there are also a lot of forced scenes.  The movie is set in a comedy show, and for those instances the jokes just fell flat.  The audience would laugh and the cast would laugh, but these always felt manufactured, like a studio audience with a laughter sign.  And it often felt like the actors were doing the same, humoring Billy Crystal because of who he is and not the jokes that he was telling.

Thankfully, Haddish makes up for this and adds some much needed levity to the film.  However, don't expect to go into this movie for its comedic gold.  But thankfully, the film does have a lot of heart.  As I mentioned, the relationship between Crystal and Haddish is a beautiful thing to see.  And the way that their friendship develops while the rest of Charlie's life is falling on tough times is a great setting for a film.  The movie touches on issues of mental health and aging that are poignant and timely.  Overall, I think Here Today would have been a better film had it emphasized the dramatic side of it.   

Here Today has more heart than humor; this beautiful friendship drama about unlikely but needed circumstances will have you smiling.

Rent it.

Zuhdi Boueri	...	Waiter Marshall Axt	Marshall Axt	...	Bat Mitzvah Guest Drew Levy	Drew Levy	...	Young Rex Michael Jones	Michael Jones	...	Mike Philippe Arroyo	Philippe Arroyo	...	Attendant Chris Cafero	Chris Cafero	...	Warm-up Guy (uncredited) Aidan Christman	Aidan Christman	...	Bat Mitzvah Guest (uncredited) Kathryn Grace	Kathryn Grace	...	Lindsay's Friend (uncredited) Samantha Kudler	Samantha Kudler	...	Congregation Member (uncredited) Nicholas LaRocco	Nicholas LaRocco	...	Bat Mitzvah kid (uncredited) Rebecca Merle	Rebecca Merle	...	Bat Mitzvah Family Dancer (uncredited) Mark Mindek	Mark Mindek	...	Man with Toupee (uncredited) Madeline Faye Santoriello	Madeline Faye Santoriello	...	Bat Mitzvah guest (uncredited) Laurie Sheppard	Laurie Sheppard	...	Audience Member (uncredited)   Fred Bernstein	...	producer (p.g.a.) Billy Crystal	...	producer (p.g.a.) Tiffany Haddish	...	producer Rick Jackson	...	executive producer Claudine Marrotte	...	executive producer Thorsten Schumacher	...	executive producer Samantha Sprecher	...	executive producer Dominique Telson	...	producer Alan Zweibel	...	producer
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Here Today is available in theaters on May 7, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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