Thursday, March 16, 2017

1 Night: Movie Review

Teenagers and adults converge in short and sweet romantic drama.

Look in the mirror, take a trip down memory lane, and meet your younger self. Don’t worry, this is not some Hollywood comedy where that actually happens. 1 Night is simply an indie romantic drama where teenagers and thirty-something adults examine their lives and choices made. There’s a lot to like in this film beginning with how easy it is to relate to these characters. 2016

Directed by: Minhal Baig

Screenplay by: Minhal Baig

Starring: Anna Camp, Justin Chatwin

Just to not dwell on it later, it should also be pointed out how easy it is to look at these characters. Starring Justin Chatwin and Anna Camp, playing two perfect people on the outside, not so perfect on the inside, is great casting for a romantic drama. Great chemistry, charisma for miles and miles, and can effortlessly add insight into these characters. Give us a sense of what they’ve done wrong, what they regret, and how they’re going to repair their relationship. Drew and Liz are married but on the verge of divorce, depending on whether both are willing to try and change or accept that they have changed or realize that they haven’t.

This is where the teenagers come in. The other main part of the film is two high school seniors, Bea (Isabelle Fuhrman) and Andy (Kyle Allen), at their prom. Andy is the resident geek, yearbook photographer and aspiring-journalist, unless he’s willing to move past that and admit he likes Bea. Bea is the cool girl, or the girl who thinks she’s cool – something else for her to figure out.

As an independent film, 1 Night really knows its purpose. You don’t need a big concept or anything flashy. Just a simple story, simple setting and with effective characters, just tell it well. This is a well written film that reflects real, basic human emotions and experiences, and then provides a platform for both entertainment and introspection. It’s not overly funny, nor overly dramatic, nor making any original statements – it’s just four characters grabbing a hold of themselves to be able to get with the one they love – for now, at this point in life.

A continuing theme, about the differences and similarities between teenage you and adult you, run throughout the film. And everytime it switched between adults Drew and Liz and teenagers Bea and Andy, I couldn’t help but recognize me in all four characters – they really are that universal, whether they want to be or not.

The film is very independent in its presentation (but with a simple, it needs to be this simple), the score was used a bit too much, but it was only noticeable because of how easily the actors and screenplay could carry the film. There’s not much in addition to the basic romantic drama of the four main characters – so entertainment value could be weak, especially if you’re not invested in their story. However, these characters are so well written, and so relatable, that the film is pretty engaging. It’s short and sweet.