US, 1987, 91 minutes, Colour.
Susanna Hoffs, Dedee Pfeiffer, Michael Ontkean, Pam Grier, Joan Cusack.
Directed by Simon Tamar Hoffs.
The Allnighter is yet another film about youngsters in the U.S. in the '80s. It focuses on five who are about to graduate and what happens to them on the a night before they graduate. It is the usual material, daffy girls, mooning over boyfriends, surfing boyfriends calling one another 'Dude' and wanting a good time. In the last quarter of an hour, there are a few crises and the film ends with everybody trying to be a bit better than they were. The heart of the film is almost in the right place.
The cast is attractive, the usual starlets seen in television series. However, the standout is Joan Cusack as the daffy graduate who is making a video about their graduation. She went on to make Broadcast News and receive an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Working Girl.
1. Youth comedy? Graduation? Pangs of youth, rites of passage, beginning adulthood? Choices?
2. California locations, the college, the apartments, the town, the hotels? The surfing sequences? The parties? Musical score and songs?
3. The title and the night before the graduation? The focus on the five students, asking what they had got out of their years in college? Prospects for the future?
4. Gina and her making the film, initial comments, capturing the characters, capturing the incidents, her questions, analysing people and their relationships? The adventures, especially with Molly, in jail, the final graduation? Her comment about her film? The character of Gina, the film, concern about college, relating with her friends, concern about Molly, going to rescue her, the irony of she and Val in jail, interviewing the manslaughter criminal?
5. Molly as heroine, glamour, giving the valedictory speech, relationship with Killer and C.J., mix-ups in emotions? The graduation night, the party? Discovering Michael, going to the hotel, caught on the balcony, wanting to be rescued? Seeing the friends go to jail? The meeting of C.J., bailing out the girls, the sexual encounter with them, going to the graduation? The glamorous heroine ? and the sexual solution for her pangs, beginning a new life?
6. Val and her relationship with Brad, her loving him, his pushing her around, her self-esteem? With Gina, with the prostitutes, going to jail, her stance in the jail, Brad coming again, standing up to him and leaving? Brad and the satire on the yuppy and his chauvinist sexist attitudes?
7. C.J. and Killer, the jocks in the college, her relationship with the women, surfing, Killer and his going around the world, C.J. and his accident, Killer rescuing him, the farewell on the cliff top? Being their real selves? C.J. and his relationship with Molly?
8. Michael and his coming back, memories of the past, Molly's going to visit him, Connie coming to see him, the superannuated jock and rock 'n roll player?
9. The prostitutes, their friendliness towards the girls, going to jail? The manslaughter prisoner and her toughness? The police officer and her leading Molly and C.J. on, letting the girls go?
10. The impression of American college, the four years, what was learnt, the experience, the friendships? The prospect for adult Americans?