Jump Tomorrow

Director: Joel Hopkins

In his review of the adorable Jump Tomorrow, Roger Ebert calls it a “low-key screwball comedy... [that] takes a 1930’s Hollywood formula and recasts it with unexpected types.” While-- as per usual for the legendary critic-- it’s an astute comment, I’d also note that director Joel Hopkins’ film, based on his short story “Jorge” also owes much to the bright and silly comedies of the 1960’s such as The Party (minus the racism, of course) and The Graduate (minus the kinky strangeness) in his story of Nigerian immigrant George Abiola (Tunde Adebimpe) who finds himself traveling with a romantically jilted, slightly unstable Frenchman (Hippolyte Girardot) on his way to his arranged marriage to a childhood friend near Niagara Falls. After learning he was late to pick up his bride-to-be, he shares a meet-cute with affable, pretty Latina Alicia (Natalia Verbeke) who impulsively invites George (now christened Jorge) to a party. Attracted to the young stranger, George decides to pay the party a visit with his new friend Gerard in tow and again shares great chemistry with Alicia before learning that she’s in a committed relationship with her British boyfriend Nathan (James Wilby), a pretentious former professor of Alicia’s whose idea of romance is to give his love a ring made of bone and chooses to document his meeting her family by burying his head behind the camcorder for the entire thing, after first alienating Gerard by proclaiming that as a language French will be dead in a number of years. Needless to say, audiences know that he’s not the right man for Alicia and although it’s slightly predictable, the cute film benefits from its complete likability and lovely characterizations by the energetic cast. Winner of a BAFTA award, as well as other accolades at the Deauville Film Festival and Florida Film Festival and thankfully released by MGM and IFC on DVD, Jump Tomorrow is at once hip and quirky and the type of independent charmer sure to inspire viewers to recommend it to others.