Before I get into this film that I now absolutely adore, I’d like to preface my thoughts by saying that this is for my friend Matt, who is running off to go back to Chicago. Not that I blame him. Most of the time I want to run off somewhere too, and I don’t have a plan in the world. But this is for him putting up with my constant thesis worries, continuous movie ramblings and for humoring me with the multiple trailers I got him to watch. So all in all, being one of the only people here that I could talk to about the things I care about, without him getting too sick of me. Or pretending not to. At any rate, it’s been great having him around, so there you go.
Now, as for the movie: All the Days Before Tomorrow (2007), directed by François Dompierre. Netflix recommended this film to me, and it apparently knows me well because I loved it. Simply put, it’s the story of Alison (Alexandra Holden), (who has a boyfriend), and Wes (Joey Kern), two friends who teeter on the border of not just friends over a period of approximately two years or so. Now this may not sound too interesting in itself. The secret lies in the method for telling their story. It is revealed through a series of non-linear flashbacks to the times they have spent together, and these are interspersed with what could be best termed dream sequences, during which Wes has enigmatic conversations with a philosophizing stranger (Richard Roundtree). These interactions are differentiated from the rest of the film by intertitles and are in black and white. They, in a humorous, surreal way, relate to whatever Wes is currently preoccupied with, offering a glimpse into his subconscious.
I will say that the film may be considered too slow paced by some, but this didn’t bother me, as its engaging nature makes up for the pace. It’s amazing how certain elements can be highly frustrating in one movie, but work perfectly in another. The pace and focus on conversation in Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry (1997) drove me insane. However, the majority of All the Days Before Tomorrow revolves around conversation as well, but this time, it fits. Everything Wes and Alison talk about is relatable. For me, anyways. Their topics, and indeed their entire relationship, seems completely random and quirky, but that is what’s most endearing about it. It’s never boring, and the two characters exhibit such true emotion. And time plays such a key role in the film. It brings up questions about the people you meet, when you meet them and what effect the timing can play in how your relationships with those people are shaped. I personally think that sometimes things develop certain ways despite time because they’re meant to. But again, that’s just me.
The music also plays a significant part in the film. Every song seems to be the perfect song for its respective moment. For someone who really loves music, I very much appreciated the variety that was incorporated into the narrative.
The film does leave certain things unexplained. For instance, it never reveals how exactly Wes and Alison met for the first time. But somehow, this information isn’t necessary to understanding them. I am mildly curious, but not so much that the lack of explanation is bothersome. I imagine they met in some sort of wholly unexpected and ridiculously perfect way. All the Days Before Tomorrow is one of those movies that ends on one of those beautifully enigmatic notes that I favor in cinema, letting us decide what ultimately happens. This open-ended conclusion is apt for a film that deals with something as ambiguous as time and the wide range and depth of feeling that goes into the relationship between two people. A comment Alison makes really resonates throughout the movie’s entirety:
“That’s how you make me feel. Like I have all the time in the world because time doesn’t exist.”