“Sometime Other Than Now” is a soft-spoken indie romance about the endless reservoir of forgiveness that is woman. Or at least the movie myth version.
Kate Walsh of “Grey’s Anatomy” plays one. Trieste Kelly Dunn is another. And young Alexa Swinton plays a forgiveness apprentice in this thin tale of a grizzled, soulful biker who comes to a tiny New England coastal town with a heavy heart and an itch to leave.
Donal Logue of “Gotham” is Sam, a guy we meet just as the surf is about to wash up over him and the motorcycle which he drove off the road some time before. We are intrigued.
Long-haired, beared and 50something, he is “the mystery man,” the “enigmatic drifter” who has to get the bike fixed, who ducks into the Sunset Motel & Cafe and catches the eye of proprietor Kate (Walsh).
He might be interested, might be frightened of the prospect. Something about this town (Greenport, NY is a location, despite the Massachusetts plates) has him jumpy.
She isn’t really interested, “No no no,” she says. Until her blind date — a lawyer — sits while Sam gets up to silently intervene as a guy loudly bullies his now-ex girlfriend waitress at a local restaurant.
Kate and Sam’s moments together, on the beach, cafe or wherever, have an artificial awkwardness about them. A lot of “It’s none of my business” and “Would you like to?” left hanging in their empty conversations.
As he’s a got the silent thing going, and is unkempt and tattooed and she used to be a Boston lawyer, you have to wonder what, other than the requirements of the screenplay, will pair them up?
But as they do, as she declares a post-coital “the whole mystery man thing, the whole enigmatic drifter thing, that’s over now,” we start learn why he’s here and in such discomfort.
Every screen story is contrived, so sure, his motorcycle is always “waiting for parts” and “maybe tomorrow, for sure,” keeping Sam around. There’s always an aw shucks local (P.J. Marshall) who might be sweet on Kate, but being a mechanic figures she’s even more out of his league.
He accepts that even after he gets a clue about who she’s taking up with instead of him.
Walsh slips into this part with ease, a woman with her own past and of some accomplishment, half-swooning over the first guy who can fix a leak, a hinge or lightbulb at her tiny motel.
Logue can be charming, but this script leaves Sam with nothing but “damaged” and “withdrawn” and guilt-ridden.
As much as I like the cast and the laid back setting, writer-director Dylan McCormick (“Four Lane Highway”) finds little to do with either. And nothing that he cooks up is the least bit surprising, even the illogical leaps that suggest that larger theme — that women will forgive an awful lot.
Which in Sam’s case, they do. No matter what he does or has done.
MPA Rating: unrated, sex, some nudity
Cast: Kate Walsh, Donal Logue, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Amy Hargreaves
Credits: Scripted and directed by Dylan McCormick. A Gravitas Ventures release.
Running time: 1:30