Jump Tomorrow

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The ViewAuckland Review

Review byMatthew Turner11/09/2001

Five out of five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Delightful feel-good comedy that was a deserved hit at the Edinburgh festival – brilliantly acted and an impressive debut for British director Joel Hopkins.

The combination of a British director (Hopkins), a British producer, a Nigerian, a Spaniard, a Frenchman and an Englishman sounds like the set-up for a very bad joke, or, at the very least, a mismatched Euro-pudding of a comedy, so you could be forgiven for having low expectations.

You would, however, be completely wrong, as Jump Tomorrow is a delightful little comedy, full of lovely characters and wonderful offbeat moments – it was a deserved hit at the Edinburgh film festival and, if there’s any justice, that success will be repeated now that it has opened nationwide.

George (Tunde Adebimpe) is a Nigerian living in America. He is about to be married to a childhood friend he hasn't seen for three years. However, he mixes up the dates and misses her at the airport by a day.

At the same time, he meets both Alicia (Natalia Verbeke), a cute Spanish girl, and Gerard (Hippolyte Giradot), an emotional, initially suicidal Frenchman, who George convinces to ‘jump tomorrow’.

Basically, what follows is a road movie, with Gerard driving George to Niagara for his wedding, but they're also in hot pursuit of Alicia and her boyfriend Nathan (James Wilby, playing smarmy and slimey to perfection), who are hitching up to see her parents.

The film is a delight from beginning to end. There’s a genuine warmth to the characters in general and the acting is superb, particularly Giradot, who’s never really shown this side to his performances before.

Similarly, Verbeke makes a sweet, unconventional female lead – there will undoubtedly be comparisons with the physically similar Penelope Cruz, which is understandable shorthand, if a tad unfair.

The real find, though, is Tunde Adebimpe, who was a fellow student of Joel’s at film school, and the subject of a short film that they then decided to expand into a full-length feature.

His performance completely wins you over – he’s shy and bumbling, but he gradually gains confidence as the film ticks along so that by the end you’re really rooting for him.

There are several lovely moments to enjoy, including an impromptu dance sequence (which Hopkins freely admits he stole from New York indie director Hal Hartley) and some wonderful gags involving George’s attempts to learn Spanish via cassettes and Spanish soap operas.

In short, Jump Tomorrow is one of the best films of the year – you’re guaranteed to emerge from the cinema with a huge goofy grin plastered over your face. Highly recommended, indeed, genuinely unmissable.

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Content updated: 25/04/2019 10:54

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