Sometime Other Than Now begins with a very curious opening scene where a biker named Sam (Donal Logue) washes up on a New England beach fully clothed in his leathers. He awakes with a pounding wave, which is, at the same time, burying his motorcycle in the sand. Having no idea what happened, a ragged, middle-aged Sam drags his motorcycle and self to shore. We watch him hide his bike and hitch a ride to the closest seaside motel, where we immediately meet Kate (Kate Walsh), who adds a bit of cooky drama relief to a bizarre circumstance.
An atmosphere of loneliness is compounded by an extremely slow-moving film, which struggles to reach its purpose. Eventually, it is revealed that Sam has come to see out his estranged daughter, Audrey (Trieste Kelly Dunn), as she just lost her mother, whom he left decades ago. Sam begins to pull his world together by being handy around the motel to make it feel like home, fixing his bike, and connecting to his daughter and granddaughter Molly (Alexa Swinton). During all this, he finds himself surrounded by people, especially Kate, who offer a remedy and solace to his mid-life crisis.
As Kate and Sam learn about each other and reminisce about their circumstances and their path to where they are now, Sam tries to make things work with his daughter and granddaughter. Propping him up regardless of failure, Kate says that Sam is like a piece of driftwood that continually washes up on shore, which she can’t seem to push away — much like Sam is to his daughter.
“…Sam begins to pull his world together…connecting to his daughter and granddaughter…”
Kate, who inherited the motel and diner, works to keep it going even with waitresses who don’t show up. The idea of selling it all is floated in the air, which she tries to squash but ultimately wonders what that freedom would be like with Sam.
Director Dylan McCormick does capture the wacky culture of a New England seaside town, especially at the motel and diner, which also happens to have a beach, where memories play an important role in the present. However, Sam’s character is so underplayed that it feels as if he has no energy and, to add to the flow, he is not a man of many words. I will never be able to fully disconnect Logue from The Tao of Steve, and perhaps wishing for that same zeal to be channeled into Sometime Other Than Now to give the drama a much-needed boost or a little adrenaline rush was too much to ask for. The Tao of Steve was over twenty years ago, after all.
The pace remains fairly flat throughout its entirety. Yet, Logue’s connection to Audrey, facing his demons, and allowing Kate to enter his life, but not without some screw-ups such still has an air of authenticity. Perhaps the most interesting character in Sometime Other Than Now is the mechanic, Spenser, played by P.J. Marshall, who is a spark that never fails, and it shows. Now, if only more of the film had that same energy.
"…Logue's connection to Audrey...still has an air of authenticity."