7.0/10
1,978
36 user 17 critic

Late Night Shopping (2001)

Four young friends have tedious night jobs and meet every night after work in a café. Sean hasn't met his girlfriend in three weeks, Vincent flirts with everybody, Lenny is too afraid to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Madeline Zozzocolovich
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Gail (as Shauna MacDonald)
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Susie
Laurie Ventry ...
Joe
Bobby Finn ...
David, Coma Boy
Claire Harman ...
Wendy, Pizza Girl
Nigel Buckland ...
Alec, Duty Manager
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Girl in Bed
Garry Sweeney ...
Hospital Porter
Carmen Pierquaccini ...
Girl in Service Station (as Carmen Pieraccini)
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Storyline

Four young friends have tedious night jobs and meet every night after work in a café. Sean hasn't met his girlfriend in three weeks, Vincent flirts with everybody, Lenny is too afraid to ask a girl at work on a date and Jody can't admit that she shows up at the café every night, although she was fired some time ago. Written by Mattias Thuresson

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Friendship, sex, or coffee? See more »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

22 June 2001 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Café de noche  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Late Night Shopping was largely filmed in Glasgow. See more »

Goofs

After Jody "convinces" Sean to go see his girlfriend, we see that his outfit changes. When he is in the café, he is wearing a dark, wool sweater. Immediately after this, we see Sean at the train station wearing a gray shirt and gray track jacket. See more »

Quotes

Vincent: The whole reason I do a mind-numbing job is so I don't have to think. Hence, mind-numbing.
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Connections

References Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovers Serenade Waltzing in Dreamland Blue Moan
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User Reviews

A damn sight better than this page would have you believe
21 January 2002 | by See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this film. It was much better than I was expecting from the box, which suggested both (i) another pointless Trainspotting knock-off and (ii) a laugh out loud pant-wetting comedy, of which this is neither (although there are some hilarious moments).

In fact this is a subtle comedy about a group of acquaintances becoming friends. The 'stupid coincidences' others have criticized here (the two girls knowing each other, Vince inadvertently pulling Sean's girlfriend) are indeed coincidences, but that is exactly the point. Because they ever only interact in the rather bleak nothingness of their nocturnal world, and superficially know so little about one another, they have no idea how interconnected their lives really are and how much they share.

A theme running through the film is the distinction between acquaintances, 'people you pass the time with', and friends. Which category do this group fall into? The unwitting and unrealised intersections between their lives initially indicate the former. However, their actions in helping Sean recover his girlfriend as the story goes suggest otherwise. Only Vince, the superficially shallow womaniser (and probably the best character), insists consistently that they *are* friends, that it is their actions towards one another that define their relationship, not the facts they can remember. By the film's (somewhat open) ending, the core group have moved firmly into the 'friends' category, not by learning that many more facts about each other, but by developing an understanding of each other's needs.

It's worth pointing out that this is all achieved without sentimental gushing at any point, something of a relief, and the films cynical tone rarely wavers. It's a credit to the young cast that they can express so much with barely a single heartfelt monologue.

There is also an underlying theme about the twenty-four hour society and the mundane, prospect-free jobs the group have. During the night, nothing changes - no-one really grows or develops, nothing is resolved, there is an air of helplessness at a bleak future doing the same pointless job for the rest of your life. (As Vince says, `And then what?'). It is only when they emerge into the daylight that anything can, and does, happen - things finally start to change.

In addition, the film is well directed and the production style is modern and distinctive without being intrusive. It's a relief to see a film with a young cast which has a bit of texture and depth, and which has not been designed around it's soundtrack.

All-in-all a very enjoyable watch, which is thought-provoking if you want it to be, and still very funny if you don't.

PS I feel obliged to answer at least some of the rather churlish and unfair criticisms which the film has received here:

1. `Why doesn't Sean just phone his girlfriend to see if she's still there?' Well, the other characters ask him this too, so it's not a plot hole. Instead it is establishing his character - he is incapable of facing up to the possibility she has gone, and paralysed by his fear of being alone. He's a bit neurotic, a bit paranoid, and he's stuck in his night-time world where nothing happens.

2. `How does Vince know where they are going?' BECAUSE LENNY TOLD HIM! This is established in the very next shot, when Jody realises the fact in the car and thumps Lenny. If you won't pay attention..

3. `Why are they all English when it's filmed in Glasgow? Why do the stop at a service station not on the route from Glasgow to Saltcoats?' Duh.. Just because it was filmed in Glasgow and Saltcoats, and therefore *looks* like Glasgow and Saltcoats, it is never confirmed to *be* these places. (In fact the seaside town was explicitly called something else). The city isn't supposed to be Glasgow, it's a fictitious AnyCity, UK. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE IT IS! It's not supposed to be anywhere *real*, because it's a story!


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