The Tomorrow Man is an odd-couple love story that may make you want to smack romantic seniors.
Ed Hemsley (John Lithgow) is a dedicated prepper who has amassed a bunker’s worth of precision-packed supplies. Unlike real preppers who know that you need like-minded nearby folks to rally with when the final disaster comes, Ed pretty much just worries by himself.
One day, he finally has the courage to introduce himself to pretty Ronnie Meisner (Blythe Danner), who works in the local gift shop. Ronnie, who thinks twisting her lips makes her look thoughtful, is secretly a hoarder. All her dangerous piles of useless junk are newish and pretty, not disgusting decades-old newspapers, so Ed, although horrified, grits his teeth and clears off space for himself in Ronnie’s bed.
Bringing up the requisite backstories, both Ed and Ronnie reveal the real-life reasons for their quirks. Thus, they earn your sympathy, but you still wish these self-obsessed characters would grow up and volunteer at a soup kitchen — anything at all to get out of themselves.
Because the script told them to, they fall in love, not in “aw shucks” cute-awkward fashion, but “cover your eyes” cringe-awkward. Soon, they promise one another they will try to work out their differences — oh, sure, like that could really happen without mental health intervention.
Despite the clunky, shallow script, Lithgow and Danner are watchable, but even beloved 70-something movie stars do not a movie make, and The Tomorrow Man quickly descends to view-at-home-if-you-dare fare.
The real curiosity about this movie is how first-time writer/director Noble Jones convinced backers to invest in it. Tax write-offs, surely, because even on the page, this movie had to be pointless, unbelievable, annoying and boring. To make matters worse, the ending is so ambiguous you’ll want to hurl stuff at the screen.