Here Today

The Premise: Charlie is a comedy writer of some renown, having started out on the Carol Burnett show, now serving out the remainder of his career writing for his protégé’s sketch show. Street singer Emma comes into his life at a strange life – dementia is slowly destroying not only his memory, but his sense of self. With his wife long dead, and his children somewhat estranged every since, Emma is a unique bridge between their generations, forming a cherished friendship just when he needs one most.

The Verdict: I liked this film, though I do have some reservations. Billy Crystal and Tiffany Haddish are both quite good – he solid as ever, she toned down just enough to exist on his wave length, yet still maintaining her own brand and style of comedy. Though this film brought them close in real life, their chemistry doesn’t always work on screen. Worse still, the dialogue is sometimes unforgivably clunky and trite. Yet there’s just something magnet about Crystal here. He is staring down a fate many of us would consider worse than death. The title itself reminds us of the stakes: Here Today (gone tomorrow) – and yet both the film and Charlie face this inevitability with light-heartedness and warmth. The important part, the part that helped me overcome the film’s flaws, is that though he may be gone tomorrow – in fact, we all may – he is still here today, and today is to be enjoyed.

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