Days of Late
“I’m single and in my thirties, which automatically makes me a character in a sitcom,” says one of LuBell’s hip, young, self-aware urbanites, and for much of the early going in Days of Late we fear she’s all too on the nose. The writer-director’s initial setup of the romantic and platonic interconnections among his mostly single characters feels awfully familiar, with the structure of Grand Canyon but the dialogue straight out of (500) Days of Summer.
Have patience: LuBell has more tricks up his sleeve. While it’s no great revelation that Generations X, Y and Z date differently from our parents and grandparents, the playwright throws some unexpected curves, and he has a terrific ear for both the angst and the ridiculous code language of our Craigslisted romantic landscape. (When unhappily married Chrissey says of her husband, “He’s always been so future-focused,” we couldn’t help but think of how words like professional and driven have been stripped of all meaning on dating sites like OkCupid and Match.com.)
Days could use some editing, to be sure. LuBell’s script feels padded to reach its length of two and a half hours plus, and while the relationship between Chrissey and her jerk-face husband, Dale, has the highest dramatic stakes, they have the weakest connection to the other characters. Still, LuBell directs a fluid, stylish production that greatly benefits from Adam Smith’s stellar sound design and a wildly appealing, committed cast. As sitcoms (or, more accurately, romcoms) go, you could do much worse.