To create empathy for those dealing with dementia, Crystal cleverly creates a memorable comedy that allows viewers to walk in the shoes of someone whose moments of memory loss are increasing. Thankfully, the movie's humor doesn't center on Charlie's impairments; instead, the funny comes from all of the other moments. Having Charlie write for a sketch comedy show creates a scenario that lets viewers laugh with ease, and casting Haddish always ensures crack-up scenes. The balance between comedy, heart, and head is excellent. It's the hand that's too heavy.
Crystal has so much to say and apparently not enough films in which to say it, so he and co-writer Alan Zweibel cram a little too much in to Here Today. Emma and Charlie's relationship is beautiful, exploring the idea that even for a man who's known to date younger women, sometimes love takes the form of platonic companionship. But it's never clear exactly why vibrant Emma prioritizes her friendship with Charlie over every other thing in her life. Haddish also feels a bit shoehorned into the role: Whenever she's allowed to fly, it's great fun, but most of the time she's restrained, as if the role was initially intended for someone else. Then there's the stiff relationship between Charlie and his children, his granddaughter's bat mitzvah, and Charlie's constant memories of his late wife, floating in and out of the scenes. And in between Charlie's complicated life, there's work -- including the young writer (Andrew Durand) he's mentoring. While it all comes together, sometimes the effect is mawkish, melodramatic, and a little much.