In the drama “If Not Now, When?” Tyra, Dee, Suzanne and Patrice have been there for one another since they were teenagers.
Their first crisis comes when Tyra, secretly pregnant, goes into labor in a high school bathroom. Years later, when Tyra’s daughter is a teenager, the four friends appear successful. But they still struggle to find their purpose and to make sense of romance and parenthood. The movie surrounding them struggles, too.
Tyra (Meagan Good) is in denial about her addiction to prescription drugs. Dee (Meagan Holder) is debating reuniting with her son’s father. Suzanne (Mekia Cox) desperately longs to make her husband her ex-husband. And Patrice (Tamara Bass) is fixing everyone else’s problems to avoid intimacy in her own life.
Bass and Good directed the film, and they ensure that their co-stars look luminous. Every performer’s skin glows. Their clothes, their hairstyles, their makeup are tasteful and flattering. But beyond the personal styling, the movie is shambolic. The characters work in barren offices; their homes look like bland Airbnb units; their personalities are similarly ill-defined.
It doesn’t take long to notice that these are earnest, even humorless, women. They are too busy contemplating their daily turmoil to play or crack a joke. As a result, their chemistry never coheres, and the movie flounders under the weight of lifeless sincerity. Marriages fail, children rebel, recovery commences — but who cares what happens on such a flimsy foundation? The stories never reach resolution because the relationships were indistinct from the beginning.
If Not Now, When?
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 51 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or buy on Apple TV, Google Play and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators. Please consult the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching movies inside theaters.