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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good case for being home during the wee hours, 4 Jan. 2003
This review is from: After Hours [VHS] [1985] (VHS Tape)
How often are you on the streets of the Big City after midnight? Have you ever wondered if maybe sleeping at night, a habit followed by "normal" people, acts as a barrier to encountering marginally functional night owls?
In the 1985 film AFTER HOURS, Griffin Dunne, an actor vaguely reminiscent of Dudley Moore, plays Paul Hackett, an anonymous computer nerd working in New York City at some mind-numbing post in a high-rise cubicle. He lives, eats, and sleeps isolated in a sterile apartment, without even a goldfish for company. Paul needs to get out more and find a fun loving girl.
Late one evening, while reading alone at a local café, Hackett is approached by Marcy, captivatingly played by Roseanna Arquette, who comments on his reading tastes. One thing leads to another with wild abandon, and soon she gives him her phone number thinking he may wish to buy one of her roommate's craftsy creations - a paperweight disguised as a plaster of paris bagel-with-cream cheese. Later, Paul calls. Amazingly, Marcy invites him to her place in SoHo, even though it's soon to be past midnight.
Arriving at the loft Marcy shares with her roommate, the nonchalantly sexy Kiki, Hackett is told by the latter that Marcy has stepped out for a moment to the local pharmacy. Paul asks, "Is she alright?" Kiki's answer, the disconcerting nature of which should give our hero an intimation as to what awaits him AFTER HOURS, is: "It's under control". And to whom is Kiki alluding when she casually mentions people she's known whose bodies are disfigured by horrible scars? Marcy is unblemished ... isn't she?
By the end of the film, when Paul staggers exhausted into his workplace the next day covered in plaster dust, the diversion has been watching Hackett ricochet from one situation to the next, and one denizen of the night to the next, each of which exhibits a certain disconnection with reality that Paul's coping skills can almost, but not quite, navigate. Indeed, on at least a couple of occasions, Hackett has the opportunity to become intimate with an attractive (albeit slightly askew) woman, only to have the opportunity snatched away by bizarre circumstance. Is it all a cosmic joke? Why, for instance, does the edgy blond waitress, played so appropriately by Teri Garr, surround her bed with mousetraps? (Squeak!)
AFTER HOURS is not a great film by any standard, but it is darkly humorous and off-beat enough to be thoroughly enjoyable, and to remind the viewer why it was Mom and Dad cautioned one to be home by the witching hour.
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Mr. Joe
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Lacey, WA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 943