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Movie review: The tawdry sex and political rants of 'Now & Later'

The film overindulges in the cardinal cinematic sin of telling instead of showing, drowning us in exposition and, er, oral "character development."

February 25, 2011|By Gary Goldstein
  • Without its blunt  and seemingly non-simulated  array of sex scenes between international banker-on-the-lam Bill (James Wortham) and Angela (Shari Solanis), the free-spirited Nicaraguan nurse he hides out with for a little "Last Tango in Downtown L.A.," writer-director Philippe Diaz's film would be way more of a full-frontal bore.
Without its blunt and seemingly non-simulated array of sex scenes between… (Denise Brassard / Cinema…)

The clumsily shot and scripted "Now & Later" is a hollow concoction of sex, politics and endless chatter that's just a few camera angles short of hard-core porn. But, in truth, without its blunt — and seemingly non-simulated — array of sex scenes between international banker-on-the-lam Bill (James Wortham) and Angela (Shari Solanis), the free-spirited Nicaraguan nurse he hides out with for a little "Last Tango in Downtown L.A.," writer-director Philippe Diaz's film would be way more of a full-frontal bore.

Set mainly in Angela's hodgepodge loft atop a transient hotel (when it's not dragging us to the free clinic where she volunteers), the movie overindulges in the cardinal cinematic sin of telling instead of showing, drowning us in exposition and, er, oral "character development." Although disgraced money manipulator Bill sounds as if he's been living under a rock, Angela, an undocumented immigrant and the daughter of murdered Sandinistas, rants like an ax-grinding political science student who's skipped too many classes.

Fortunately for Bill, who has just a few days with the sexy firebrand until he can escape the U.S. — and an eight-year prison sentence — Angela's diatribes are tempered by so much hippie-happy nookie that he can apparently overlook her noxiously anti-American diatribes. But can we?


"Now & Later." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes. At Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood.

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