×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jump Tomorrow

A promising debut from a filmmaker with a strongly developed visual sense and a solid grasp of character-driven comedy, Joel Hopkins' "Jump Tomorrow" recounts the chance meeting of two people about to be unwisely hitched and the circuitous journey they take to correct their mistake and get together.

With:
George - Tunde Adebimpe Gerard - Hippolyte Girardot Alicia - Natalia Verbeke Nathan - James Wilby Consuelo - Patricia Mauceri George's Uncle - Isiah Whitlock Jr. Heather Leather - Kaili Vernoff Old Man - Gene Ruffini Sophie - Abiola Wendy Abrams

A promising debut from a filmmaker with a strongly developed visual sense and a solid grasp of character-driven comedy, Joel Hopkins’ “Jump Tomorrow” recounts the chance meeting of two people about to be unwisely hitched and the circuitous journey they take to correct their mistake and get together. Expanded from the writer-director’s 1999 NYU short “Jorge,” the film threatens to derail early on with its unrelenting quirkiness. But it gets back on track and becomes increasingly disarming as it moves toward an uplifting conclusion, which may help it find a modest theatrical audience.

Romantic comedy is possibly the most hit-and-miss of genres. But despite some false steps, Hopkins delivers a genuinely charming example through the generosity and affection with which he treats his characters, a racially and culturally mixed bunch that could have seemed schematic and forced. Instead, the script playfully trades in certain national stereotypes to considerable comic advantage, giving the interplay between the central quartet some interesting kinks.

Story opens with mild-mannered George (Tunde Adebimpe) heading for the airport in Buffalo, N.Y., to pick up his bride-to-be, a childhood friend due in from Nigeria. When she doesn’t show, he learns she arrived the previous day and went directly upstate to Niagara, where the wedding will take place in three days.

Before he leaves the airport, however, George, who views the marriage as an obligation, has two decisive encounters. First is with Alicia (Natalia Verbeke), a cute, extroverted Latin girl who invites him to a party that night; the second is with Gerard (Hippolyte Girardot), a lovelorn Frenchman whom he consoles after his departing girlfriend’s refusal of marriage.

Unable to leave depressed Gerard alone, George suggests they go to the party, where his initial attraction to Alicia is confirmed. He meets her British lover Nathan (James Wilby) and hears they are relocating to Canada the following day, stopping to visit her folks at a border town on the way.

The early action in Buffalo affords some strong visual opportunities with the city’s kitsch retro architecture and sharp primary colors cleverly used to foreground bespectacled, buttoned-down, gray-suited George’s rather stiff presence. (Adebimpe, who played the same character in the original short, seems outfitted to resemble Sidney Poitier in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”) But, technically impressive as they are, the neatly composed visuals begin to seem self-conscious until Hopkins starts focusing more tightly on his characters, which happens after the script hustles them out of town.

The film finds its feet when George and Gerard hook up again with Alicia and Nathan as they hitchhike north. In true French fashion, Gerard believes in love above all else — his vintage Citroen has “AMOUR” plates — and has decided to make George’s happiness his mission, becoming even more dedicated after an amusing French-British culture clash with opinionated bore Nathan.

When the group arrives at the home of Alicia’s family — who immediately identify the real romantic connection — all the comedy’s elements click beautifully into place.

An NYU animation graduate whose only previous acting experience was in “Jorge,” Adebimpe almost imperceptibly transforms his initially passive character during the delightful final act into a looser, less rigid man, able to take control of his future. Another side of George is revealed throughout in jokey fantasy interludes from Latin American soaps that recast him as a smoldering stud.

As the catalysts for George’s self-discovery, Verbeke and Girardot — both in their first English-language roles — have ample charm, and Wilby smoothly embodies the smug Brit.

Lenser Patrick Cady’s idiosyncratic framing and production designer John Panno’s vibrant color schemes and detailed sets give the film a distinctively hip look. Soundtrack effectively mixes John Kimbrough’s cheesy, tongue-in-cheek score with vintage and contempo songs.

Jump Tomorrow

Production: An IFC Films release of FilmFour presentation of a Eureka Pictures/Jorge Prods. production. (International sales: FilmFour, London.) Produced by Nicola Usborne. Executive producers, Tim Perell, Paul Webster. Co-producer, Jake Myers. Directed, written by Joel Hopkins.

Crew: Camera (Technicolor), Patrick Cady; editor, Susan Littenberg; music, John Kimbrough; production designer, John Panno; art director, Gonzalo Cordoba; set decorator, Brenna Griffin; costume designer, Sarah J. Holden; sound (Dolby Digital), Judy Karp; associate producers, Howard Gertler, Gill Holland; assistant director, Jeff Huston; casting, Ali Farrell. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (American Spectrum), Jan. 24, 2001. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: George - Tunde Adebimpe Gerard - Hippolyte Girardot Alicia - Natalia Verbeke Nathan - James Wilby Consuelo - Patricia Mauceri George's Uncle - Isiah Whitlock Jr. Heather Leather - Kaili Vernoff Old Man - Gene Ruffini Sophie - Abiola Wendy Abrams

More Film

  • J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church

    SXSW Film Review: 'J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius'

    Like 8mm films of 1960s “happenings” or videos of 1970s performance art, “J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius” chronicles a cultural footnote that perhaps should be filed under the heading You Had to Be There. The satirical-absurdist “religion” founded by some Texans actually caught fire among hipsters in the 1980s, influencing some [...]

  • 'Roll Red Roll' Review: Piercing Documentary

    Film Review: 'Roll Red Roll'

    “Roll Red Roll” is a piercingly relevant and disturbing documentary about an infamous high school rape case that took place in Steubenville, Ohio (pop. 18,600), on Aug. 11, 2012. Steubenville, the sort of Friday-night-lights small town that boasts signs that read “Kick off for Jesus,” is a place that’s good at keeping secrets. When the [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild, Hollywood Agents Negotiate With Deadline Looming

    The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents have held a sixth negotiating session with a deadline for a new deal 16 days away — and it’s uncertain whether progress is being made. The Association of Talent Agents made counter-proposals at Thursday’s session that contain provisions for more accountability and transparency by agencies for clients [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Fox Layoffs Leave Staffers Stunned and Saddened

    Fox employees knew this day was coming. For over a year, the men and women who work at the Century City lot have talked of little else but severance packages and job searches. They knew that when Disney wrapped up its $71.3 billion acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets, thousands [...]

  • Alan Horn Disney

    Disney Clarifies Film Leadership After Harrowing Day of Fox Layoffs

    Following the dismissal of top executives in distribution, marketing and strategy on Thursday, new 20th Century Fox owner Disney has clarified its new top leadership. Five distinct Fox labels and a portion of their leadership have been welcomed into the Disney fold, the company said. This includes Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Family, Fox Searchlight Pictures, [...]

  • Janelle Monae

    Film News Roundup: Janelle Monae to Star in Film From Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

    In today’s film news roundup, Janelle Monae will star in a Lionsgate movie, Bill Nighy joins “Emma,” and documentaries on surfer Bethany Hamilton and Asbury Park are dated. CASTINGS Janelle Monae will star in an untitled Lionsgate movie directed by the duo Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. More Reviews SXSW Film Review: 'J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and [...]

  • Blair Rich Marketing Summit

    Studio Marketing Chiefs Discuss the Theatrical vs. Netflix Oscars Debate

    On a day where a large part of the Fox marketing department was wiped out in the aftermath of the Disney merger, a group of marketing chiefs from other studios and streamers sat down at the Variety Entertainment Marketing Summit presented by Deloitte “to discuss the issues shaping the feature marketing landscape today, including the theatrical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content