Two Cars, One Night (2004)

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Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Sometimes first love is found in the most unlikely of places, like in the carpark outside the Te Kaha pub.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Rangi Ngamoki ...
Hutini Waikato ...
Te Ahiwaru Ngamoki-Richards ...
Riwai Waka ...
Dion Waikato ...


How do people connect? At night a car is parked by the Te Kaha Hotel and Pub in rural New Zealand. Two brothers, about 10 years of age, sit inside waiting for their parents. Ed is reading a book. Romeo notices a girl about their age sitting in a car not far away, also waiting for her parents. Romeo shouts a few insults at her. She ignores him for awhile then answers back. Later, Romeo sneaks up and tries to scare her. They talk; he brags, she calls him out. She's Polly, maybe 11. He notices a ring she has - studded with diamonds. He yells questions at Ed. He asks if he can see the ring. Should she let him hold it? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

waiting | ring | pub | reading | hotel | See All (15) »


Drama | Romance | Short


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Release Date:

January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dwa samochody, jedna noc  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Romeo: Cause then I wouldn't have a diamond ring.
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Edited into Cinema16: World Short Films (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

A charming unassuming little film
26 March 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Inside the Te Kaha pub the night is in full flow with drinkers enjoying themselves. Outside in the car park Romeo and his little brother Ed sit in the car awaiting the return of their father. Another car pulls up alongside, with twelve year old Polly also left in the car while her father goes for a drink. Bored out of his mind, Romeo starts taunting Polly from his car but what starts out childish insults changes with even the short time they share together in the anonymous car park.

Aside from the rather grating accents (to my ear at least) and the difficulty in quickly catching onto the dialect of the characters, I must confess that I found this a surprisingly fresh and charming short film. Another reviewer has stated that writer/director Cohen was aiming for something that looks at human contact and this has indeed been achieved. Filmed in a great black and white that feels dirty and lowdown (as opposed to the crisp and sexy b/w that many modern films will use) the film starts with a simple insult and builds from there. If it sounds simple then I suppose it is because it sort of is. However it works because the two characters are well written and well delivered to pace the development of this contact without making it feel corny or rushed.

The script works well but the director does well to draw good performances from the three children. Despite initially a bit put off by their appearance and accents, I was drawn in as they were by one another and found them really natural and engaging. Ngamoki is annoying at first but comes around well, while Waikato has an easy chemistry with him that makes it convincing. Ngamoki-Richards maybe has a small character but he is funny as little brother Ed.

Overall then a charming unassuming little film. It won't blow your mind with depth or messages but it is effective in what it does and it is as convincing as it is engaging.

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This film is good! Can I see this? rodrigozanatta
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