By Matt Pascarella
Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes
This movie is what I would consider a hidden gem. It hit harder than I was expecting. It’s both funny, but also emotional and heartbreaking.
When comedy writer Charlie Burnz is diagnosed with a form of dementia, he wants to get his thoughts about his late wife on paper while he still can. When he meets Emma, they form a friendship which becomes important to both of them.
Based on the short story, “The Prize” by Alan Zweibal, “Here Today” stars Billy Crystal, Tiffany Haddish, Penn Badgley, Laura Benanti, Louisa Krause, Alex Brightman, and Audrey Hsieh.
Charlie (Crystal) has been a comedy writer all his life and works on a Saturday Night Live-type show. One day, he has lunch with Emma (Haddish) a singer whose ex-boyfriend won a lunch with him from an auction, but she decided to go. Emma orders a bunch of seafood, which to her surprise, she is allergic to. It lands her in the hospital where Charlie has to pay a lot to get her out and healthy, but he saves her life.
Charlie is in the early stages of dementia and has flashbacks to a specific horrible event in his life. He also occasionally forgets people’s names or who they are.
When Emma stops by to pay Charlie back some of the money she owes him, she learns a little about his life. Emma and Charlie become friends. Charlie tells Emma about his dementia and that he wants to write a book for his wife; he has to finish before he runs out of words. Emma wants to help him. She does what she can to help him remember.
Charlie has a strained relationship with his children (Padgley and Benanti) because of the horrible incident.
Charlie’s dementia is getting worse. During a taping of the show, Charlie has an outburst, which receives a mixed reaction. The flashbacks are intensifying.
Charlie is angry. He’s told he can’t be alone anymore. Emma says she’ll stay with him. Their friendship grows.
At one point, Charlie’s granddaughter, Lindsay (Hsieh) runs away from her mom. Charlie and she take a trip but then Charlie ran away. Lindsay gets scared and calls her mom. What follows will make you smile.
I thought Haddish and Crystal are a good pair. This movie had a lot of heart. I thought there was some classic, Billy Crystal humor in this movie. Emma and Charlie are going to Lindsay’s Bat Mitzvah, and he tells he can’t dance and was the only person who ever had to take out Mambo insurance.
I thought the acting was very good – especially Crystal’s. Early on, both Emma and Charlie are unsure or indifferent about the other person, especially after Emma’s shellfish incident. The more they get to know each other, the more they like and begin to care about and for one another.
This movie might make you might shed a tear or two, but overall, I enjoyed it and would suggest anyone rent this. Two typewriters up.
Available to rent on most major streaming platforms. <