This week’s The Tomorrow Man is the latest in a string of movies about finding romance late in life. Blythe Danner plays Ronnie, a compulsive shopper who’s constantly buying things she feels she needs but will likely never use. She meets Ed (John Lithgow), a man who can’t stop planning for the worst case scenario, including terrible disasters.
When they meet they find the other may be someone they need in their lives, but they’re coming at life from very different points of view. As the two form a deeper connection those contrasts come out but so do the ways they may balance each other out, bringing out in the other the best tendencies.
Ed and Ronnie are shown from the back on the poster, the pair standing in the back of a pickup and looking out over the sunset above a peaceful landscape. There’s no additional copy explaining the story but this does sell a peaceful story of two people who have found each other.
Ed meets Ronnie in the first trailer and the two start spending more time together just to not be alone. Things get deeper, though, as they expose more parts of their personality to each other, an uncomfortable experience for both of them. That includes how they are or aren’t preparing for the future. They meet each other’s families and while things get a bit weird the two come back to each other in the end.
Online and Social
The page on Bleecker Street’s website for the movie doesn’t have much, just the trailer and a synopsis. There’s also a link to an open letter writer/director Noble Jones wrote on the Landmark Theaters website detailing his inspiration for the story and the message he wanted to send.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
After the first trailer was released in late March it was used in promoted social media posts to increase reach and awareness.
Media and Publicity
Even before it premiered at Sundance the movie was picked up by Bleecker Street and given a May release date. Director Noble Jones was interviewed about the production of the movie and using a surprising number of special effects in the film while Lithgow admitted he had concerns about working with a first-time director, concerns that were allayed when he met with Jones.
The first clip showed Ronnie and Ed meeting up, the former unsure of what it is she wants to know about the latter as they just begin spending time together. A few more clips that continued showing the halting, sometimes awkward relationship between the characters came out over time.
Closer to release there was a joint interview with Jones and the two lead actors where they shared some of their history and talked about the story and working together. Lithgow appeared on “The Tonight Show” to share funny stories and promote the movie a bit.
As with most movies of this kind recently, it feels like there just could be so much more there. Danner and Lithgow are some big names, but the fact that this isn’t a franchise film but a smaller drama about two older people cautiously falling in love means it has limited box-office appeal and so isn’t getting a marketing push with much weight.
That dynamic between the two lead characters – something that seems like it should be a stage production – is the focus of the push with little attention given to whatever sort of societal commentary Jones might be wanting to make with two characters with such starkly opposing worldviews. Adding more of that might have done something to break the movie out from others of its ilk, but the very nature of the subject matter means this wasn’t likely to break through beyond a limited audience.