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TOO LATE (2021)
Directed by D.W. Thomas.
Written by Tom Becker.
Starring Alyssa Limperis, Ron Lynch, Will Weldon, Jenny Zigrino, Brooks Wheelan, Billy Breed, Dinora Walcott, Jack De Sena, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Fred Armisen, Dwayne Perkins, Paul Danke, Marnie Price, Deborah Aldrich
An underappreciated assistant named Violet (Alyssa Limperis) slaves for her boss Bob Devore (Ron Lynch) in hopes to one day get a chance to do her own standup comedy at his comedy club show called “Too Late.” What no one but Violet knows, though, is that Bob is not just a monster of a boss, but he’s an actual monster and it’s Violet’s job to lure unfunny standup comedians to meet with Bob so me can devour them whole. Violet is finally realizing she won’t ever get a chance to get out from under Bob’s thumb when she meets a nice guy comedian named Jimmy (Will Weldon) and falls for him. Of course, once Violet stops feeding Bob, she is useless to him and both Violet and Jimmy begin to look awfully tasty.
I’m not a fan of being roped in and duped. I don’t know anyone who really is. And while some jokes require the comedian to reel a person in and flip their expectations, it doesn’t really translate when the film promises horror and there really is none to be found. This is the case with TOO LATE, a rom com that will try to lure horror fans in with an intriguing premise and no payoff. Sure there is one grossout scene, but that doesn’t make it a horror movie. Every rom com cliché is present in TOO LATE. There’s the down and out gal who is looking for her prince charming and is oppressed by her job. All she needs is one big break and everyone in the world will understand how talented she really is. It’s the plot for pretty much any romantic comedy starring J Lo or Renee Zelwegger or Drew Barrymore or Anne Hathaway. And yes, tons of women love these films. And good for them. Still, I think if Emma Stone did a film that promised her mousey hard working ways to be eventually pay off with a successful career, big New York apartment, and a date with Biff Hunkley and what they got was a wall to wall gorefest filled with monsters tearing people up from beginning to end with maybe a romantic kiss and a musical scene, some gals would be a bit put off by that movie too. That’s how I felt about TOO LATE.
Now, everyone does a decent job. It’s great that a bunch of no namers convinced a few name actors like Fred Armisen and Mary Lynn Rajskub to lend some star cred and made a romantic comedy together. I didn’t particularly think any of the comedy was that funny, unfortunately, as all of it played things pretty safe. That’s pretty much what this entire film does. It wants to be an edgy experiential for those trying to be comedians to get inspiration from but doesn’t have enough reality to make it resonate. One comedian lives in the closet of a friend, but it’s played for laughs and not really given a chance to be appreciated as the truly sad predicament that really is. The film also has a script that thinks it’s way funnier than it is. All of the characters are doing a comedy bit or being sarcastic instead of really talking to one another, which gets old quickly and drives it home that this isn’t a film that wants to be taken seriously at all. If you can’t write one genuine line, then you aren’t going to get any genuine feelings.
TOO LATE feels like a missed opportunity. It couldn’t make it as a straight up romantic comedy, so it decided to toss in a whiff of horror elements into it, but it feels like it was made by people who don’t really like horror. I guess I’ll give it to them and say the lead Alyssa Limperis is somewhat charming as Violet, but she’s playing a cliched role and adding very little. We don’t even get to see her do any comedy at all. TOO LATE just wasn’t my bag and if you’re coming into this one looking for horror, I doubt it’ll be your bag either.