CLUMSLY YET ENDEARING
J. Johnson | CT | 02/27/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I caught "Next Time"-a low budget independent released in 1998-a couple of days on cable late at night.I actually watched the film in it's entrity(something I rarely do for films that I catch at random on television).I had a mixed opinion by the time it was over."Next Time"(directed by Alan L. Fraser) is the story of Matt,a young white boy from Ohio and Evelyn,a forty something African-
American mother of two who's trying to make in LA Riots-era Black Los Angeles(that's
when the film's set).Well,Matt(only 19) and Evelyn both wash clothes at a nearby laundrymat every Saturday at 10:OO PM.
As time goes on,they become friends(they even kiss) who share a lot of things in common than what would be expected:they're both lonely(Matt moved to LA just to be near an unrequited crush;
Evelyn has a no-good boyfriend and a deliquent son) and vurnable.
OK,so now I think you get the drift of the movie.Now,this element of "Next Time" is very endearing.Two people who probably would just cross each other unfazed in the street actually open up and "bare their souls" to each other.That is one thing I really liked about the film.But..."Next Time" will somewhat scatterdash when it comes to it's meandering racial comment it wants to make.Now if you actually believe that a film that covers a friendship
between a white kid and a black woman in Rodney King-era racial unceratainess wasn't going to adress race-you must be a bit slow(smile).That's expected and the director(also the writer of the film) could've dealt with it more thoughtfully.Instead the racial edge of the film is clusmy and undevolped.Not knowing what it really wants to say.In fact it bogs down an otherwise intresting film.That kind of turned me off
(and prevented me of giving "Next Time" a four star rating).So all in all,"Next Time" was a film that has a great premise
yet very clumsy social comment BUT the relationship between
Matt(Christian Campbell) and Evelyn(Jonelle Carter) is enough to overlook it's mishaps.AT the end of the film,the laundrymat-
the setting of the "Next Time"-is borded up after being burned after the LA Riots and Matt takes a bus back home to Ohio.
Leaving a bittersweet end to a movie that take will leave both a
warm yet sometime eye-rolling impression on you."
Reinah | Newark, New Jersey United States | 11/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There aren't many contemporary voices that people would unifiedly listen to on this subject. However, the subject matter very dramatically conveyed an 'active' voice that reaches out and catches your attention and pulls you into the situation. You can feel the struggle (in their trying to achieve some middle ground) ... you can feel the pain of each character, their confusion, despiration, joy, desire, doom and hopelessness, etc. The ending left me feeling 'disjointed' and 'sad'; saying 'a connection was almost achieved, but not cemented' ... and wondering, ...'will there ever truly really ever be a 'NEXT TIME' again?!' If so, ... when?Well done, ... I loved it and am glad I own a copy!!"