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Film Four International/IFC Films
Official Site
Director: Joel Hopkins
Producer: Nicola Usborne
Written by: Joel Hopkins
Cast: Tunde Adebimpe (George), Hippolyte Girardot (Gerard), Natalia Verbeke (Alicia), Patricia Mauceri (Consuelo), Abiola Wendy Abrams (Sophie), Gene Ruffini (Old Man), James Wilby (Nathan), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (George’s Uncle)

Rating: out of 5

I liked this sweet movie so much, I watched it twice. The romantic road comedy JUMP TOMORROW is an expansion of Joel Hopkins’ award-winning 1998 short film, JORGE, based on his short story, “Jorge.” Can a movie be sweet without being cloying and disgusting? Yes indeed.

Buttoned-down George’s (Adebimpe) arranged marriage to his childhood playmate Sophie (Abrams) is a mere three days away. Arriving at the airport a day too late to meet her plane, George instead meets a charming young woman named Alicia (Verbeke), who impulsively invites him to a party. He also meets the despondent and needy Gerard (Girardot), who has just been unlucky in love. The ensuing road trip, wherein Gerard drives George on his undeclared quest to win Alicia, is interspersed with affectionate fun at the expense of telenovelas, sensitive New Age guys, and falling in love.

George is sweet and bashful, but not at all backward or a figure of fun, demonstrating that being a sweet person is not necessarily the same as being a sap. Alicia is simple, sweet and amusing, not some over-the-top caricature of irresistible free-spiritedness (see FORCES OF NATURE and you’ll know what I mean. We all know where this kind of misadventure-on-the-way-to-the-altar movie will lead, and who’ll wind up with whom. JUMP TOMORROW is so cool that it takes us to a happy ending for (nearly) all involved. Even Sophie’s happiness is accounted for.

The movie is also a multicultural feast: George is a Nigerian-American; Alicia’s family are Spanish-Americans; her boyfriend Nathan (Wilby) is English; Gerard is French. At times, in fact, JUMP TOMORROW goes a little overboard on its own hyperethnicity kick. But it’s a nice story, with pleasant, quiet acting that suits the quiet, pleasant love story, and an excellent use of music.

As an added plus, writer-director Hopkins stops telling the story at exactly the right place, such a rarity! At the end of the screening, a couple stood up and danced.

I hate to have to resort to the word “sweet”, being that it’s such a turnoff for so many moviegoers these days, but that’s what we’ve got here. One sweet, funny movie. In fact, the sweetest, most believable romantic comedy I’ve seen in ages.

—Roxanne Bogucka

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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