Sometime Other Than Now is a frustrating watch – it continues to falter on the verge of being almost good but never quite succeeds. I never thought I would miss the skill (if not the depth) of Nicholas sparks, but here we are.
As in the stories of Sparks, we find ourselves on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, with characters who yearn for love and struggle with loss, looking sadly at the water. So the story has a solid, albeit familiar, structure with one of the storytelling’s most enduring themes: redemption. It has a beautiful New England oceanfront setting, lovingly photographed by Christopher Walters. It also has a cast of talented actors who do their best to bring some authenticity to the characters, but they are disappointed with the writer / director / songwriter’s thin script. Dylan mccormick.
We first see Sam (Donal Logue) sleeping on the beach, as if he had just washed up up there. He walks along the highway and stops at a small cafe, where Kate (Kate walsh) cleans. She also runs the little Sunset Motel next door (do you think that name could be symbolic?), And Sam needs a room. Although he doesn’t have any ID or credit card, he has a roll of cash and nowhere else so she lets him check in. They are both lonely people, vulnerable but resistant to relationships.
Sam fixes Kate’s hinges and hangs a screen door that kept falling off the frame. There is a pleasant little moment between them when she says cautiously, “Thank you?” I don’t know how to navigate between business and favors. He responds by reflecting his tone: “You’re welcome?” Walsh, especially in the first half of the film, makes the most of a barely sketched character, showing us her struggle for performative and joyful professionalism with clients, helping her hide even from herself what she does not feel alone.
Kate has just been fixed with Tom (David Aaron Baker), a bit of a wine snob and a lawyer whose bragging still seems to sum up before the jury. Sam is scruffy to the point of homelessness and barely speaks, but he defends a young lady with an abusive boyfriend and drinks beer on the beach, and don’t forget the hinge repair, that’s so Sam Kate decides to sleep with. He tells her what he says he never told anyone. He came to town to try and see his adult daughter for the first time since she was a child.
So we all know where this is going. It never gets very interesting on the way. Maybe we’ve all seen too many Sparks (and Hallmark) movies, but we can’t help but expect to understand who these people are, how they strayed from what they thought they were going to be, and what’s stopping them. to move forward. We learn that Kate has given up being a lawyer to come home and help with her father’s business. Normally, such revelations become significant later; either she has to use her legal skills to resolve a dispute, or she realizes that labor law was not as good as she hoped.
We also learn that Sam’s situation at home may be more stable than we might have thought. But there is no basis for this discovery. Indeed, it’s so out of touch with anything we’ve seen before that it’s distracting to chance.
The supporting characters, a friendly bartender and a shy garage mechanic, are even more finely drawn. Trieste Kelly Dunn makes Sam Audrey’s daughter the closest to a three-dimensional character in the film. The script gives her a palette of emotions and a monologue, in which she explains her nostalgia for the father she once felt close to, while not wanting to let herself – or her daughter – experience another abandonment. It’s another moment where the movie almost comes to life but never quite gets there.
If you fancy a treat, watch Logue and Baker in the delicious “Steve’s Tao“But skip this one.
Now playing in theaters and available on request.