Written and directed by acclaimed singer-songwriter Jer Sklar, Music Box Theatre will screen Chicago comedy Tom of Your Life from May 7-13. Featuring an original soundtrack with 11 original songs from his local band The Blackstrap Molasses, Sklar also edited, produced and stars.
Tom of Your Life tells the story of a baby who inexplicably ages four years on each hour. With his mother sedated, a rebellious nurse takes it upon herself to sneak him out of this rural hospital and on the road to Chicago to show him what life is all about. Inspired by offbeat comedies like Harold and Maude and The Last Detail, the “coming – and going – of age” story asks us to reexamine how we’re living our life and to see our milestone markers with fresh eyes, a story that couldn’t be more timely in this age of Covid.
“It was clear when he worked for me on my show that this was one smart, talented dude!”
With Sklar in the titular role, the film also stars Broadway actress and Steppenwolf Theater School vet Baize Buzan (To Kill a Mockingbird, SXSW hit Our Father) in her motion picture debut, alongside journeymen actors James Sharpe (Parks and Recreation, Mad Men), Paul Tigue (This is Us) and Mike Nussbaum (Men in Black).
The film also found multiple versions of “young Tom” with Chicago theater actor Dominic Rescigno and three real-life brothers – Levi, Judah and Joshua Paul.
Half of the proceeds from the Music Box screenings will go to SAVING TINY HEARTS, the Paul family’s non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating Congenital Heart Disease.
In Tom of Your Life, the city of Chicago plays a prominent role in front of and behind the camera. After spending many years in Hollywood, Sklar moved back to Chicago to attend film school at DePaul.
“This is one of my favorite movies of 2020”
Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
“Frankly I was jealous of the kids growing up able to make feature films on their phones, record their own music, color correct, edit, all on their laptop,” said Sklar. “I was made for these times, but I was still just a guy from analogue-land, born too early. Now that technology caught up with my dreams, I thought it was now or never to learn the technology and make the kind of movies I always wanted to.”
Sklar used his industry connections to raise money during the four years he was learning the technical side of filmmaking. For Tom of Your Life he assembled a formidable team of Chicago talent including Cinematographer Christopher Rejano (Knives and Skin), FX Make-Up Artist David Ian Grant, Production Sound Mixer Jacob Brown and Post-Production Audio team, NoiseFloor, Ltd.
A Highland Park native, Sklar grew up in a hub of Hollywood activity thanks to the filming of Paul Brickman’s Risky Business and multiple John Hughes productions. After moving to Los Angeles to study acting and music, Sklar became a Development Executive and helped launch the Chris Rock-produced series Totally Biased.
As a musician, actor, writer, director, editor and producer, Sklar took a “now or never” approach to making his debut feature film. With producer James Sharpe and Emmy-winning executive producer Chuck Sklar (whose writing credits include work for The Chris Rock Show, The 2020 Oscars, Bill Maher, and Jay Leno). “… We felt the theme of Tom in our souls: It had to be NOW!”
The original soundtrack for the film was composed and performed by Sklar’s Chicago band The Blackstrap Molasses, creating a “music-driven narrative.” The album of 11 original songs is due out this summer. Additional musicians include Phillip Hunger, Joel Gutman and many others.
Jeremy Sklar plans on continuing making films in Chicago and is currently developing his next feature under his Satori!Studios banner.
Filmmakers and cast will attend the Chicago premiere on May 8th beginning at Music Box Theatre’s Lounge & Garden at 5:45 pm. Pre-show entertainment will be provided by The Blackstrap Molasses with a few songs from the movie. The party is free and open to the public. A free Tom of Your Life face mask will be provided to all in attendance.
The 7:00 pm. screening will be hosted by Patrick McDonald of Hollywood Chicago following a Q&A with talent. Tickets to the screening are available at Music Box Theatre