Louis CK's 1998 Indie Movie 'Tomorrow Night': We Watched So You Don't Have To
Louis CK has put his independent movie, Tomorrow Night , on his website for download today. But before you go running to buy it, hoping for a black-and-white version of Louie, you need to know a few things about this strange little film.
The film seems like an absurdist comedy at first, which shows the small oddities in daily New York life. First, we see the man we later find out is the film's protagonist, Charles, running his beloved Variety camera and film shop. Like many elements of Tomorrow Night, the scenes in Charles' shop both hearken back to a lost era of film, where caricatures reigned and "noir" was a compliment, but also reminds us of cultural references that may have still been relevant in 1998 — like developing photos.
After some very weird scenes, we eventually get the idea that Charles will fall in love with Florence, a woman many years his elder who is the victim of spousal abuse. They eventually find out her husband has died, get married, adopt a teenager, and reconnect with her son long-lost at the war, Nick. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but it gets even weirder after this bizarre "happy ending."
As deliciously surreal as the movie sounds, all of the deadpan silences and slow-paced plotlines make it a bore to watch. I understand that Louis probably wanted to make it feel old, but the pacing has made the movie feel like it has one foot in the grave. The few bright spots come from recognizing Louis CK's cameo (as a shop owner who sprays passersby with hoses), as well as appearances by Steve Carrel's laugh, an under-utilized Wanda Sykes, and Conan O'Brien (as himself). Without those moments of "look where they are now" excitement, I might have fallen asleep.
So, if you're REALLY into old film, LOVE Louis CK, or want to see Wanda Sykes used as a prop, go ahead and buy Tomorrow Night from Louis CK's website. Otherwise, you might want go watch Louie instead.