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Jump Tomorrow

If you're in the mood for a quirky romantic comedy, skip America's Sweethearts and go see Jump Tomorrow instead. Opening this Friday at the selected theaters, it's one of those little films that deserves a bigger audience.

Tunde Adebimpe, making his feature film debut, stars as George, a Nigerian-American living in New York who's on his way to Niagara Falls. There, he's scheduled to wed an old childhood friend, though he's not excited about this arranged marriage. It's further complicated when he bumps into Alicia (played with great energy by Natalia Verbeke), a beautiful Spaniard who takes a liking to George despite the presence of her  own boyfriend Nathan. At first, George ignores his feelings for Alicia; but when, in a coincidence found only in the movies, they cross paths on his way to Niagara Falls, things get interesting.

Along for the ride is Gerard (Hippolyte Girardot), a Frenchman who's infatuated with the idea of love even if he hasn't had much success of his own. Sensing an opportunity to live vicariously, he pushes George to
abandon his upcoming nuptials and pursue Alicia.

Written and directed by Joel Hopkins (also making his feature film debut), Jump Tomorrow is both a nice homage to previous run-to-the-altar comedies and a winningly good-natured exploration of multi-culturalism. My friend Garth found the whole setup contrived and the execution tedious, but I was won over by the film's characters. I cared deeply whether George and Alicia got together, and the movie does a nice job of bringing about a satisfying resolution without resorting to belittling any of its secondary characters. It's also helped immeasurably by the charisma of all three leads. The film doesn't have a lot of depth, but its surface pleasures are enough.   

by J. Robert Parks 7/24/2001


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