The Los Angeles independent comedy scene can be a tough world to navigate in order to achieve bigger and better things. Mostly everyone is hoping to be discovered and earn a shot at fame and fortune. However, what if there was more to fear out there besides indifferent or unruly audiences and shifty agents? The new film, Too Late, looks at a literal monster searching for up-and-coming talent to devour.
We are introduced to Violet Fields (Alyssa Limperis), a young woman who runs her own small stand-up show out of a coffee shop. She also happens to be the personal assistant of famed comedian Bob Devore (Ron Lynch), the host of the live variety show Too Late. She knows her boss’ dark secret and is responsible for feeding the beast inside. Violet becomes torn when she hits it off with Jimmy Rhodes (Will Weldon), an aspiring comedian who Devore has set his eyes on as well.
Too Late juggles its different genres, horror, romance, and comedy, pretty well and first-time director, D.W. Thomas, blends them into an enjoyable movie. Thomas can effectively build suspense though she does also rely on the jump scare from time to time. The script from Tom Becker also includes non-supernatural frightening situations such as Violet experiencing toxic behavior and harassment from her fellow male comics. It deals with the topic in a serious matter but part of the fun is seeing these villains get their comeuppance.
Limperis and Weldon have good on-screen chemistry in an adorable yet loser-like kind of way. Their courtship and Violet’s attempts to keep Jimmy and Devore from working together really drives the narrative. On the comedy side, the incorporation of different stand-up routines really adds to the intimate and independent scene. They never seem forced and most are smart and funny. It’s interesting to see if the bits are actually the individual performer’s or written in the script.
Overall, Too Late entertains throughout but the ending is a little underwhelming. It nicely builds to the confrontation between Violet and Devore but the actual showdown comes up a bit short and ends abruptly. There’s a wanting for more considering their rocky relationship and all of Devore’s devious actions. Thomas shows she can do horror, romance, and comedy, but her action filmmaking could see some improvement.
The movie is a great mash up of different genres that uniquely incorporates stand-up routines to highlight the independent comedy scene.
Too Late is out now in select theaters and digital platforms.