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Friday, February 10, 2017

'1 Night' Theatrical/VOD: Timey Wimey Romdram on Trying to Put Right What Once Went Wrong

Level 33 Entertainment does husbands and boyfriends a solid regarding the February 10. 2017 theatrical and VOD releases of the romdram "1 Night." This chick flick has enough wry humor and scifi elements to also appeal to macho men. This tale in which both boy and girl meet world on prom night has older incarnations of this couple valiantly try to get the kids to put right what once went wrong.

Pre-release accolades for this date night/girls' night out movie include an astonishing 9.2 rating on IMDb and a 91-percent want to see result on Rotten Tomatoes.

The following YouTube clip of the "Night" trailer emphasis the rom over the dram while providing a good sense of the dash of scifi that runs throughout the movie.

The overall theme of "Night" of trying to recapture the magic of young (or youngish) love is a common one in 2016 and 2017 films as the plethora of (mostly gay-themed) Unreal TV reviewed films over the past several months attests. In this case, the voice-over narration at the beginning discusses whether the extent to which knowing then what you know now would influence decisions and actions during your teen years. One spoiler is that an observation that the kids "are idiots" is valid.

The action then shifts to the hotel where most of the "Night" action occurs. Gruff 34 year-old Drew (played by character actor Justin Chatwin) approaches awkward high-school yearbook photographer Andy as the latter valiantly tries to get his prom-going classmates to pose for pictures. The advice that Andy gives the lad is the first hint of the guardian angel aspect of the film.

We then see jaded 34 year-old Elizabeth (played by character actor Anna Camp) giving 18 year-old prom-goer Bea cynical advice in the hotel ladies room. This leads to the youngsters and their sidekicks joining forces and Elizabeth and Drew meeting in the hotel bar.

The tales as old as time backstories that soon emerge are that Bea and Andy are close childhood friends whose relationship falls victim to the high school caste system and our 30-somethings have a rocky romantic past. We further learn that Andy has a semi-secret crush on Bea and that Drew wants to rekindle his flame with Elizabeth.

The John Hughes vibe increases regarding the Bea/Andy storyline as our young not-yet lovers flee a post-prom party after brilliant outcast Andy confronts the jock/asshole ex-boyfriend of the object of his affection. Meanwhile Drew and Bea rehashing their past makes it clearly that that couple minimally relates to the experiences of the other couple.

A series of events that make it clear that they are more than coincidences provide strong evidence that our young professionals are more than mere mentors for their younger counterparts. The mystery relates to the exact nature (and means) of the connection and how the millennials end up in the place where the audience knows that they will find themselves in several senses of that term. Additional suspense stems from the possibility that the universe will implode during one of the frequent encounters between the two couples.

On a larger level, "Night" provides good commentary on the nature of youth regarding heeding the advice of folks who have been there and done that. It further reminds all of us of the importance of not being our own worst enemy.

First-time feature film writer/director Minhal Baig artfully tells this tale via well-presented reveals and creates a climax that makes sense from a scifi perspective that is very personal to both couples. An awesome aspect of this is that it has a strong element of a high school reunion that spares our hero the obnoxiously exuberant ex-classmate and peaked at 18 former jock.

Baig getting this right strongly suggests that his high-school years include an unrequited or ended-badly love that haunts him in the present. As the apt initial response to his film shows, all of us feel your pain.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Night" is encouraged to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvguy.