It's extraordinarily weird, and totally worth $5.
On Wednesday, Louis C.K. self-released Tomorrow Night, his directorial debut from 1998. It's available for streaming and download on his website, using the same $5, direct-from-the-source business model that made his standup specials millions. Unlike his standup specials, which are beloved by everyone, this movie is weird and difficult and not bust-a-gut funny. But it's still pretty great. It's an absurd and surrealist take on Harold and Maude shot in beautiful, meticulous black-and-white. And it features several scenes of ice cream fucking, an oversexed, clown-makeuped howler named Lola Vagina, and the line "can't you have diarrhea on your own? You're a grown man," because Louis C.K. is a diarrhea maestro.
Tomorrow Night stars Chuck Sklar as the brusque, solitary owner of a photo-developing business who begins a relationship with an elderly housewife, played by Martha Greenhouse. Greenhouse's abusive husband is played by the weird old man who propositioned Wanda Sykes (who also appears in Tomorrow Night) in Pootie Tang, C.K.'s follow-up to Tomorrow Night. It also features pre-fame appearances by Steve Carrell and Amy Poehler, and a should-have-been-starmaking performance by Curb Your Enthusiam's J.B. Smoove as a motormouthed mailman.
According to C.K., the movie screened at Sundance and other festivals, but never secured distribution and has been in storage until now. It's great that he finally was able to release it, because it's a fascinating document of C.K.'s growth as a comedian and filmmaker. There is a distinctly student-film quality to Tomorrow Night, with scenes that go on too long and too many show-off camera angles, but it shows that Louis C.K. was capable of emotionally resonant scatology long before his daughters were born.
Image via louisck.net