Four young friends spend one crazy Friday night on the streets of Manhattan that quickly turns into a night, they'll never forget.Four young friends spend one crazy Friday night on the streets of Manhattan that quickly turns into a night, they'll never forget.Four young friends spend one crazy Friday night on the streets of Manhattan that quickly turns into a night, they'll never forget.
This movie is all characters. The key element, for mine, is the symmetry between them. Four guys. Two black guys, two Hispanic. Two with (pathetic) jobs, two without. Two with more than women on their minds, two without. Because the symmetrical dynamic is always switching, we are always privy to meaningful dialogue, and witness powerful confrontations. That is, the director doesn't just make his point in the first 30 minutes, but is always reevaluating his characters, and their struggles.
Each viewer will no doubt have a favourite character, and his journey will be of most interest and focus. The beauty of this movie, however, is that none of the characters are developed at the expense of another. All are richly detailed, and, if you are like me, your focal character may change with every viewing.
None of the characters are overly likeable; we are always confronted with scenes which really demonstrate their failings and shortcomings. Herein lies the strength of the film. Unlike so many other "cool" and "wacky" comedies, these characters have real depth, and we can't. as honest viewers, think any one of the characters are summed up by the words "cool" or "wacky" or any other simplistic assessment that can easily be applied to characters in so many other movies (and fairly, too). They are all distinct in many ways. The most notable example is each character's technique in dealing with the inherent racism of their society. The most fascinating character here is Vinnie, as he chooses rather than confronting this difficult problem, to deny it even applies to him: "He thinks he's Italian".
My only request when seeing this movie, is not to fall into the trap of missing an appreciation of its depth. Sure, it's got a "cool" title, they just cruise around doing cool stuff ("Jose sent me" is such a good idea!), and they say cool one liners. But beyond that, the characters are at once frustrating and liberating, enjoyable and unlikeable, but most of all, they are all very human, very real.
- Jan 8, 2001