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Now & Later

1 rating: 3.0
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Genre: Drama
Release Date: April 11, 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Now & Later

NOW & LATER Is A Thinking Man's Love Story

  • Dec 7, 2011
  • by

On the one hand, it’s hard to make anything substantive of NOW & LATER, an independent feature written and directed by Philippe Diaz: two somewhat down-on-their-luck urbanites (Bill, on the run from the law, and Angela) meet, hook-up, have sex, talk about their lives, and then part ways.  Think of it as a contemporary coming-of-early-middle-age where “the bad boy” meets “the free love girl” but they’re denied riding off into the sunset together because THAT wouldn’t be the ending for an independent feature, now would it?


On the other hand, the film serves as a kind of blatant political pornography, the kind of cinema one can share with Liberal friends around the world.  In fact, Bill is described as “a former golden boy of the banking industry” (why, isn’t that prescient?), and his soul-saving is provided by Angela, who’s described as “free-spirited” and “an illegal immigrant.”  Where else but in Hollywood could capitalism and lawfulness be giving such righteous comeuppance?  Where else but in Tinsel Town U.S.A. could the journeys of two hardened criminals intersect with the destination being sexual euphoria?


It’s the perfect movie to market to all of those Occupy protesters!


Now, in fairness, I didn’t want to make this review political, but it’s hard not to when you’re given such obviously manipulative storytelling.  Initially, I had hoped for what I believed was going to be an adult love/lust story centering on two like-minded souls who’d lost their way in life.  They’d come together and learn from one another, not only the obvious things about sexual attraction as are promised by the product’s packaging.  There is an important message tied into NOW & LATER’s central theme about living “in” the present, not so much as “for” the present.  NOW & LATER cleverly refers to the two character nicknames: she chastises him for always living for the future, for ‘later,’ while he criticizes her for always choosing to live in the moment, in the ‘now.’  Thematically, I think what these two learn from one another was important, that life wasn’t so much about one view OR the other,  but, instead, it’s a healthy mix of both.


Clearly, I’d like to think that Diaz wants to ‘teach’ in his story that Bill’s life is arguably just as enriched by sharing with Angela as hers is positively changed by him.  It’s just that, come the film’s conclusion when these two drifters part company and blend into the crowd on a busy city sidewalk, no other message beside the politics (sexual and otherwise) are hammered out as loudly.  What we’re left with is sex between a man and a woman is good; sex by yourself is good; sex as a voyeur is good; sex with multiple partners is good; sex can make you feel whole even if life when your own actions cannot or may not; and, oh yeah, don’t forget to hate America for a whole host of sensible and nonsensical reasons on the way out.


Instead of being an adult story (with condoms!) of two people finding themselves (and an occasional third person) over an odd couple of days (and nights) and having lots of mature sex, NOW & LATER takes a relatively easy, predictable way out by descending into clever but erotic bits of two people unhappy with the U.S. hooking up, hating the country, and then parting ways, albeit better (we’re led to believe) because they’ve known one another.  With writer/director Diaz’s penchant for America-bashing (Bill’s a jilted Wall Street banker on the run, for pete’s sake!), it’s hard to tell where the foreplay stops and … well … the foreplay begins.  One wonders if it’s Bill’s sad sack story that makes Angela all hot and bothered … or was it her own verbal stinging indictment of America, the great Satan that’s destroyed the Third World?


Despite it all, I still felt NOW & LATER was worth watching, if only once.  It is a well made independent feature.  It certainly captures the mood of its two principles, and James Wortham (“Bill”) and Shari Solanis (“Angela”) played their roles convincingly.  It certainly wasn’t as ‘principled’ as it was ‘passionate.’  While I may not agree with its message, I can sympathize with the messenger.  While I may not agree with its politics, I can appreciate the opinion.


In the interests of disclosure, I’m pleased to announce that the kind folks over at Cinema Libre Studio provided me with a screener copy for the purposes of completing this review.

NOW & LATER Is A Thinking Man's Love Story

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December 07, 2011
"It's the perfect movie to market to all of those Occupy protesters!" LOL! Despite your 3 rating, you have interested me....thanks for sharing!
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