SLFS 2011 Review – ALL THOSE YESTERDAYS
ALL THOSE YESTERDAYS is a moody, introspective drama about life and love. It magnifies the little things, paying scrupulous attention to dialog and the subtleties and mannerisms of body language. Unfortunately it fails to engage or present characters that are involving and, even at a brief 75 minutes, emerges as a pretty dull experience. Several years after their romance ended, thirtysomethings Nathan (John Gregory Willard) and Maggie (Lilly Bibb) meet for coffee and end up spending the day talking. They talk about what went wrong. They talk about what might have been. They stop talking for a minute, stare at each other wistfully, and then talk about why they’re so damn miserable. As Director and Cinematographer, Aaron Coffman’s low-budget first feature is well-produced. His compositions are carefully judged, his overcast camerawork well-matches the character’s moods, and the film does a decent job of showing off some St. Louis exteriors. It’s the underwrought, half-baked script that’s the problem. These two characters are never given anything to do or say that that gets your heart racing. Their problems and their lives simply aren’t unusual or compelling enough to make us care or hold our attention. This is a movie so solemn that you patiently wait for some twist or turn or anything of interest to happen but it never does. By failing to establish a strong narrative, ALL THOSE YESTERDAYS wastes one excellent performance. The romantic element is the film’s only reason to exist and thanks to a winning, natural turn from Ms Bibb, there is a small degree of chemistry between these two. She has an off-kilter, bespectacled beauty that can withstand the many silent close-ups and I hope to see her in more films. I just wish the dialog coming from her and Willard’s mouths was remotely interesting. But these two spend the entire movie moping about St. Louis droning on about nothing until their inevitable (off screen) roll in the hay. I’d call it a soap opera, but at least soaps are known for excess while this artificial drama just sits there. There’s a thin thread of a story. A big business deal for Nathan falls apart and his girlfriend gets jealous but ALL THOSE YESTERDAYS is a dour, unambitious sudser that never lifts off the ground, no matter how hard it flaps its wings.
ALL THOSE YESTERDAYS will screen during the 2011 Stella Artois St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase at 5:00PM on Tuesday, August 16th at the Tivoli Theatre.