After Hours

"Extraordinary"

After Hours Review


It's one of cinema's greatest freak-outs. The mild-mannered and terminably hapless Paul (Griffin Dunne, in the defining role of his career) encounters Marcy (Rosanna Arquette, ditto) in a coffee shop, reading Tropic of Cancer, naturally. When he gets her number and takes a cab ride to a desolate and rain-drenched SoHo to meet her at her loft, things take a turn for the bizarre -- with Paul finding himself entangled with an intertwined web of people, including an obsessive cocktail waitress (Teri Garr), a suicidal girl, a possibly murderous sculptress (Linda Fiorentino), an unhinged ice cream truck driver (Catherine O'Hara), and a whole host of other characters that represent some of the wackiest nutjobs in cinema. No one else seems to notice it's so bizarre except for Paul: As Dick Miller's diner cook character puts it, when it's after hours, "Different rules apply."

By the end, Paul is on the run from an angry mob who thinks he's a burglar, fleeing in fear for his life. Will he escape? Well, rest assured that After Hours is actually a comedy. It's also one of my favorite Martin Scorsese movies (and a massive departure from his grittier fare), fresh every time you see it and full of little touches that you catch more of with each subsequent viewing. Check out the rows of Aqua Net in Garr's apartment. Or the "tie" she's wearing.

Best of all, you really do relate to Dunne's Everyman. His situation is impossible, yet we've all had that one really bad night that, when we tried to explain it to someone else, it came out as pure comedy. At the same time, Scorsese's trifle is far deeper than a mere throwaway "one crazy night" movie -- which are legion in the annals of cinema. Paul's ride through Manhattan is surreal to the point of breaking. His job is mind-numbing. He clearly has no friends. The situation is ludicrous. So... did it really happen? Or is it all in his imagination? Scorsese implies that the truth is somewhere in between -- that Dunne's malaise is so palpable he'll do anything to break out of it. (This is laid out and made hilarious in the opening scene, with Dunne training Bronson Pinchot in the finer arts of data entry, only to have Pinchot launch into a speech about how he's doing this only until he can get the funding to start up a magazine for intellectuals.)

If Kafka had been working in the 1980s (and Scorsese's send-up of urban chic clothing, design, and styles of the era is worth the price of admission alone), this is the story he'd have written.

This long-awaited DVD includes deleted scenes, selected scenes with feature commentary, and a 20-minute making-of retrospective that places After Hours in context with its genesis during Last Temptation of Christ's production problems. Make sure you check out the original ending storyboards... wow.



After Hours

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 11th October 1985

Box Office USA: $10.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $10.6M

Budget: $4.5M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: The Geffen Company, Double Play

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 35 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Robert F. Colesberry, ,

Starring: as Paul Hackett, as Marcy Franklin, as June, as Pepe, as Kiki Bridges, as Julie, as Thomas 'Tom' Schorr, as Neil, as Gail, as Horst, as Street Pickup, as Lloyd, as Coffee Shop Cashier, as Taxi Driver, as Diner Cashier, Murray Moston as Subway Attendant, as Diner Waiter (Pete)

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