Friday, November 2, 2012

#809. After Hours (1985)

Directed By: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom

Tag line: "What if that date you thought would never end, didn't?"

Trivia: In the coffee shop where Paul first meets Marcy, an elderly couple sitting at a table to Marcy's right is director Martin Scorsese's mother and father

It’s difficult to explain just how bad a night Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) has in Martin Scorsese’s 1985 comedy After Hours. He meets the beautiful Marcy (Rosanna Arquette) in a coffee shop late one evening, and later decides to visit her at her friend’s apartment.

It all seems pretty innocent, right?  Something that has happened to hundreds of guys, on hundreds of nights. Yet what happens to Paul on this particular visit is truly unique, and must be seen to be believed.

Paul is a young professional, with a boring word processing job and a boring life to boot. When Marcy invites him over to hang out, he thinks his luck might finally be changing for the better. So, he hops in a cab and heads to SoHo, hoping to add a little spice to his life. X Well, to put it mildly, the evening doesn’t go as planned. First off, Marcy is a bit more screwed up than he realized, and her artist roommate, Kiki (Linda Fiorentino), while definitely more "together" than Marcy, dabbles in art that, at best, will give you the creeps.

Before the night is out, Paul will have run-ins with a number of bizarre characters, including a waitress (Teri Garr); a helpful bartender (John Heard) he shares a strange connection with; and a vigilante mob, led by an ice-cream truck driver (Catherine O’Hara) who won’t stop until she has brought Paul to justice.

Oh, and there are a couple of crooks in a van, played by Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, who pop up every so often again to make Paul’s adventure even more hellish.

After Hours is a very funny film, but not in the laugh-out-loud style of comedies like Airplane or Spaceballs. It’s a movie that will make you snicker in hindsight, when you have time to reflect on the pathetic bad luck of its main character. Watching After Hours is like staring at a train running out of control, watching it crash, then keeping your eyes glued through all the carnage. Paul Hackett’s train runs off the tracks the moment he steps into a taxi one fateful night, and from then on he doesn’t have a minute to catch his breath.

And neither do we, for that matter. After Hours will wear you out, but boy is it worth it!


PooBahSpiel said...

The computers at the publishing house dates the film. But so does Cheech and Chong.

James Robert Smith said...

What??!! Scorcese. A phenomenal cast...and I've never even HEARD of this film!!