Though Billy Crystal is a living comedy legend, I couldn’t help but feel his performance in Here Today was just a little cathartic.
The film – which he directs, co-wrote and stars in – follows an aging comedian who’s past his prime, but still respected for his values, ideas and the pioneering work he did in the industry. His character Charlie feels as if he doesn’t have the stranglehold on the industry he once did.
In some ways, Crystal – though his voice work and SNL turns in the last decade have been hilarious – has remained largely out of the live-action acting spotlight almost entirely, with his last starring turn being 2002’s critically-maligned sequel Analyze That.
But with Here Today, Crystal is back in fighting form as a men who makes friends with a younger New York street singer named Emma. Their friendship transcends age and different backgrounds, and they realize what it is to have a love that knows no bounds.
They’re best friends, and Tiffany Haddish and Crystal play their characters perfectly. They’re absolutely hilarious and light up the screen together.
Here Today can be hokey and give in to some comedy-drama tropes, but make no mistake, Crystal is in incredible form here, and seeing him breezily make you smile while he’s onscreen is worth the price of admission alone.