Teenagers and adults converge in short and sweet romantic drama.
|What 1 Night does well, really well, is examine love as a thirty-something adult and as a teenager. Four main characters: Bea and Andy are attending their high school prom, and Liz and Drew are at a turning point in their marriage. It’s about the similarities and differences as people age and grow up, and then finding something to relate to in all of these characters.||2016 |
Directed by: Minhal Baig
Screenplay by: Minhal Baig
Starring: Anna Camp, Justin Chatwin
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 every time it switched between adults Drew and Liz and teenagers Bea and Andy, I couldn’t help but recognize myself in all four characters – they really are that universal, whether they want to be or not.
The film is very independent in its presentation (it is just a simple story after all), 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. There's a lot here for teenagers and adults alike to fall in love with.