Cinequest 2023: Tomorrow

If I were to tell you that this movie is about someone who wakes up each morning in a different body, always yearning to go back “home,” you’d probably say “Oh yeah, Quantum Leap! I loved that show!”

But this isn’t Sam Beckett, and it isn’t a weekly show. There’s no overt reason for the traveler to make a history-rectifying change to each new situation in which they find themselves. It’s something much more personal, and oddly more realistic because of that.

Harper is a young girl who is having trouble at school. Sent home for fighting back against a bully, she is inconsolable because “the world is so unfair.” She rebukes her parents’ advice and love, and wishes she was someone else, anyone else.

So of course, that’s what happens. Over and over again. With no voice over, no “Ziggy,” there is no explanation why this is happening to her. Day after day she spends one waking day in a new body, and then goes to sleep to start things all over again.

Of course, without the puzzles and historical situations that prior works like Quantum Leap, Groundhog Day, or even Freaky Friday had going for them, you might expect this to be kind of tedious after a while. But because Tomorrow dwells on Harper’s emotional reactions, it is much more personal, believable. The film examines the progressive effect this situation has on the young unwilling traveler. There is unexpected character growth, and truly unexpected revelations of a different sort happening here. But I’m not here to spoil that for you, just encourage you to keep an open mind through her journey.

To further your appreciation of the film, you can’t help looking at the rather large cast and appreciate the job each has done in bringing their version of Harper to life. We are exposed to real slices of life, some momentary instances, some more fully developed days. All compound to a more interesting whole because in this world they’re relatable and bereft of fantastic complications. Harper even ends up on the receiving end of a young girl’s inconsolable attitudes towards her parents, and as much as we might have expected that ironic twist, it doesn’t become the focus. It’s just another day, not “the end” of the film.

This isn’t a film where we should be expecting the Hollywood ending, the Shyamalanian “twist.” What happens here is more direct, more believable in it’s own fantastic setting.

In all, there is a lot to consider in Tomorrow, and with each daily vignette we have the opportunity to learn something about the human condition, our own desires to “go home,” and even the need to enjoy our trip onto our final destination.

You will find Tomorrow is worth considering for another day, and another, and another…

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Note: Do NOT leave before the end of the credits. -RB

Ric Bretschneider
August 7, 2023
San Jose California

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