Tune in Tomorrow, Jon Amiel's screen version of Mario Vargas Llosa's acclaimed novel Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter, is lusty and full of zany characters, but cluttered and overdone.

Tune in Tomorrow, Jon Amiel’s screen version of Mario Vargas Llosa’s acclaimed novel Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter, is lusty and full of zany characters, but cluttered and overdone.

Aunt Julia (Barbara Hershey), a double divorcee, returns to New Orleans in 1951 at age 36 to find a rich third husband. Instead, she finds her 21-year-old nephew by marriage (Keanu Reeves), a local radio station newswriter, who falls in love with her. The aunt succumbs, incurring her family’s anger. On top of that plot is the more complicated story of a disheveled writer (Peter Falk), who’s new in town.

Falk’s Pedro Carmichael creates a successful radio soap opera laced with incest and anti-Albanian sentiment. While actors read their lines on the air, different ones, including John Larroquette, Hope Lange, Peter Gallagher and Elizabeth McGovern, act out the scenes in dramatic soap style. Falk manipulates the nephew-aunt relationship, and, to Reeves’ anger, reproduces the couple’s arguments in his soap.

There’s enough in William Boyd’s sprawling script for three films. And while the action is fun for much of the first half, the storylines ultimately smother each other. Hershey and Reeves are outstanding and Falk is delightfully melodramatic.

Tune in Tomorrow

Production

Polar. Director Jon Amiel; Producer John Fielder, Mark Tarlov; Screenplay William Boyd; Camera Robert Stevens; Editor Peter Boyle; Music Wynton Marsalis; Art Director Jim Clay

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Barbara Hershey Keanu Reeves Peter Falk Hope Lange Peter Gallagher Elizabeth McGovern
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