‘Why even try?’ is perhaps the central question of Maybe Tomorrow, the latest indie from Melbourne filmmakers Caitlin Farrugia and Michael Jones (Lazybones). Why try doing something when you are low on money and time? Or what about that big dream of yours, eh? Why bother if your priorities are going to suddenly change?
Who are all these questions being hurled at? Well, that would be young Melbourne couple Erin and Patrick, played by Tegan Crowley and Veteresio Tuikaba. Both are bursting with energy as they discuss the film that they’re going to be making together when their bubble of creativity is burst by the cries of their new born child. It’s not a cold moment, but it foreshadows the rollercoaster journey they will take in the pursuit of artistic expression.
Patrick appears to think nothing of mixing filmmaking with parenthood. Whilst Erin works at a coffee shop to pay the bills, he plays househusband, strumming the ukulele to his child and working out the schedule for the shoot. It’s the kind of free time Erin perhaps misses, when compared to the short time she gets to have at the end of the day with her family and the screenplay she’s poured her heart into – a screenplay which appears to be a release for Erin, in which the scenarios she writes about and even the actors she chooses seem to echo parts of her life with Patrick. So, when her story, including a literal car crash of a finale, begins to be reshaped by outside forces, you can really sense her frustration simmer. Meanwhile, the housebound Patrick is sabotaging his own attempts at making new friends as a father.
Let’s be clear, Maybe Tomorrow is not a mopey kitchen sink drama. Rather, this a playful dramedy. Whilst Patrick storyboards scenes with baby toys and paints any potential new friends as ‘racists’ before he’s even met them, Erin struggles with auditioning actors and their egos.
Farrugia and Jones are clearly having a lot of fun as they make fun of their own world. Upon being asked by Erin what previous parts she’s played, a young Asian actor lists every cliched role that’s beholden to people of colour in Australia: ‘best friend, servant, sex trafficked woman…’
As the couple at the centre of everything, Crowley and Tuikaba share an adorable chemistry as they play with their baby, playfully bicker about whether veggie pasties are really food and not so playfully bicker about film budgets. It says something about their performances that when the filming schedule applies pressure, you find yourself incredibly protective of them.
Loving and warm, Maybe Tomorrow is a charming portrait of new parenthood and the complexities of film production.
The senate inquiry into Australian content on broadcast, radio and streaming services, examining the economic value of Australian content, has recommended stronger content quotas, producer offsets and stricter guidelines on what constitutes 'local'.