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Blythe Danner and John Lithgow find love late in life in 'The Tomorrow Man'

Susan King, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

If there's one thing we've learned from movies and TV in recent years, it's this: There is no age limit to falling in love.

A romantic subgenre has developed over the last few years in which older people fall in love -- often to their own surprise -- including the 2015 hit indie "I'll See You in My Dreams" with Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott and the Jane Fonda-Lily Tomlin Netflix comedy "Grace and Frankie."

Now, Tony and Emmy winners Danner and John Lithgow are struck by Cupid's arrow in the quirky independent comedy-drama "The Tomorrow Man."

In "The Tomorrow Man," the first feature film from music video director Noble Jones, Lithgow plays a divorced retiree with a grown son who spends a lot of his time watching Fox News-style TV and preparing for the end of the world. Danner's Ronnie is a sweet widower who works in a knickknack store and has been a hoarder since her infant daughter died years before.

"These are two people who really need somebody else to come into their lives and break them of this cycle," Lithgow, who is currently on Broadway in "Hillary and Clinton," said in a recent phone interview. "And that's what happens. That's what the movie's about -- two people who really change each other and move each other."

In a separate phone interview, Danner noted that one of the main attractions of doing the film was to play people "who were so different from what we had ever played."

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"After these long years of working," she said, "it's such a gift to be able to do things that I haven't done before."

For decades, Danner, 76, and Lithgow, 73, have been trying to work together. They nearly did in 1980, when Lithgow was asked to appear opposite her in the Broadway production of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal."

"Very stupidly, I turned it down because I had a committed to do a friend's play off-Broadway," Lithgow said. "My friend's play was a huge flop. I won't even tell you the name. I was so tormented by my mistake."

But fate had something even better in store for him. "Because of that, I was pretty available to do a very short job in Los Angeles, which I went and did. That was when I met my wife, Mary, of 38 years. It's the opposite of a cautionary tale."

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