Crystal additionally produced, directed and co-wrote the movie, sharing script credit score with unique “Saturday Night Live” author and “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” co-creator Alan Zweibel, based mostly on the latter’s quick story “The Prize.”
Nobody has to stretch a lot, with Crystal taking part in Charlie Burnz, an getting older comedy-writing legend in the early throes of dementia; and Haddish as Emma, a singer (she does her personal singing fairly ably). They meet in barely unorthodox (if not fairly cute) vogue, by way of an auctioned-off lunch for a fundraiser though she’s unfamiliar along with his work. Thrown collectively, she proceeds to befriend him and fill the void left by his estranged children.
The unlikely friendship between Charlie and Emma — which no one, together with them at occasions, appears to know — is clearly the film’s basis, in a “Family is what you make it” method. Yet the broader narrative finds Charlie concealing his situation from not solely his children (performed by Laura Benanti and “You’s” Penn Badgley, each notably underemployed) but additionally the sketch-comedy present that employs him, an out-of-step dinosaur who insists on plunking out jokes on a typewriter, stored round by the loyal producer he mentored.
There are fertile threads strewn all through “Here Today” (a title designed to evoke life’s “Gone Tomorrow” realities), however as constructed, it is largely a platform to let Crystal and Haddish riff — him providing a parade of one-liners, her referring to him as “old man” and making a lot of age-related jokes.
Alas, that half winds up wrapped in fairly stale household melodrama, with Charlie nursing regrets and guilt over his earlier life, creating a rift between him and his grown kids, with the clock ticking on the prospect of repairing it.
It’s been 20 years since Crystal final stepped behind the digicam to direct the HBO film in regards to the chase to topple Babe Ruth’s home-run file, preceded by his starring automobiles “Forget Paris” and “Mr. Saturday Night.” (The late Jerry Orbach co-starred in the latter, and receives a shout-out right here as a vital footnote in Charlie’s legendary skilled previous.)
Crystal clearly hasn’t misplaced his knack for delivering a joke, and “Here Today” serves as a automobile for him and Haddish to rattle off loads of them. But that comes encumbered by a acquainted life lesson, forsaking a film that is each usually amiable and as disposable because the title implies.
“Here Today” premieres May 7 in theaters in the US. It’s rated PG-13.