A meek word processor in New York impulsively travels downtown to Soho for date with an attractive, but apparently disturbed young woman, and finds himself trapped in a nightmarishly surreal vortex of improbable coincidences and farcical circumstances.Written by
The building used for Hackett's office building is the Met Life Tower near Madison Square Park. See more »
When confronted by Tom's neighbors, Paul says he's a friend of Tom's, but during their initial meeting in the bar, Paul and Tom do not exchange names. See more »
[Paul and Lloyd in front of a computer terminal]
Alright, punch. Punch it in.
Okay, let's, first of all, refresh the screen here. Alright, and go into "format ruler".
[Lloyd punches at the keyboard]
All right. Now, file?
[presses a key]
[...] See more »
The closing credits are displayed over a moving shot of Paul's office, during which more and more employees show up for work. When the camera passes Paul's desk again, he has disappeared. See more »
I tried very hard to like "After Hours," Martin Scorsese's surrealist head trip about a straight-laced word processor (Griffin Dunne) who ventures off into the SoHo night and gets trapped inside a frustrating nightmare. It's an interesting premise for a film -- what goes on out there in the nocturnal world while the rest of us are fast asleep? But I couldn't help but feel that the film was trying too hard, like its creators were intentionally setting out to make something that would eventually end up as a cult classic. That it did doesn't make the movie any better. The best cult classics are those that become so naturally, not those that are manufactured to be so.
Griffin Dunne is on screen nearly constantly, and he does well with his role, gradually working himself up to a nearly hysterical pitch of frustration in his failed attempts to get back to the safety of his home. The supporting cast is peopled with recognizable faces in cameos: Teri Garr, Catherine O'Hara, Cheech Marin, Rosanna Arquette. But no one is really playing a character, and no one really gets much to work with. I wasn't bothered by the implausibility of the film; implausibility is the film's point. But I did get somewhat bored by the arbitrary plot twists, and the fact that I couldn't connect with anyone in the film, not even Dunne, whose character is vaguely unlikable.
I did like the film's ending, though. It nicely captures that feeling of waking from an unsettling dream into the familiar world that you know and recognize.
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