Cowriter Zweibel dishes on new Billy Crystal movie ‘Here Today’
Comedy writer Alan Zweibel watched the Oscars with Billy Crystal, who hosted them nine times between 1990 and 2012. What did they think?
"It was different," Zweibel said when he called into my show on Monday night, April 26. "I don't want to pass judgment on people's work but let's just say we were with a bunch of people and there was a lot of silence."
Zweibel and Crystal have a new movie coming out May 7 in 500 theaters called "Here Today" which they wrote together and Crystal directed and stars with Tiffany Haddish. Check out the trailer. Zweibel who's collaborated with Crystal on his Tony Award winning "700 Sundays" is "real proud of this movie."
"Before COVID shut everything down we had a chance to test screen it in front of 400 people at a theater in California. People laughed where we wanted them to laugh and they cried where we wanted to, so we held out" It's much better that way.
'We could have held out," Zweibel continued on to say. "We could have gone straight to a streaming service but the studio was really brave and you'll get a chance to see it in the theater."
In "Here Today" Crystal plays an aging comedy writer who bid on at a charity auction by Tiffany Haddish even though she has no idea who he is.
"That lunch took place in my real life" says Zweibel," and I told that story as a guest one night on David Letterman show, Billy saw it while he was watching it he texted me and said listen why don't we do a screenplay where that's the first scene between an older guy and a younger woman and let's see where it takes us"
Where it takes us is to the crying part Zweibel referred to earlier as Crystal is suffering from the onset of dementia and working on a book that he wants to finish before his words run out.
"It's a book about his deceased wife. That's not in the trailer, all the trailer says is I want to finish this book, but it's about her and he wants to finish it before he loses his words"
This is where the original idea took them.
"When we started writing 'Here Today' it was just a May-December romance. It's a romance without sex just a true love story. Then we figured we've seen those movies older guy younger woman and we didn't want to do one of those, so life inspired us in a way."
Once again Zweibel and Crystal reached into their own lives.
"My father was getting the onset of dementia, Billy has an aunt in the same condition and we said okay, what if we give that to the older guy and let's see where that takes us."
Here's where Zweibel says the movie goes.
"So they meet, Crystal and Tiffany Haddish, they have a fun friendship, but when she realizes what's going on with him and he's got this book he's got to finish, she becomes his muse. It's a really heartfelt movie."
"Here Today" hits 500 theaters Friday May 7.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.