Friday, August 18, 2023

It Only Takes a Night: Movie Review

A romantic comedy with a bit of a bad girls twist.
It Only Takes a Night is marketed as a ‘women behaving badly’ type of movie but it plays out more like a romantic comedy; however, the end twist is a good joke so its easy to let any misdirection in the genre slide. It opens with Ruby (Eliza Taylor) being interrogated in the morning after a night that clearly went badly. Rewind to three months earlier and Ruby is preparing herself for her boyfriend proposing is instead dumped.   2023

Directed by: Callan Durlik

Screenplay by: Callan Durlik

Starring: Eliza Taylor, Arielle Carver O'Neill, Sana'a Shaik, 'Ana Ika, and George Pullar

It takes her friends three months and one night to get her through the five stages of grief. Their night starts out at a fancy restaurant where Ruby embarrasses herself and her friends when she sees ex Angus and throws a very public tantrum. After getting kicked out of the fancy restaurant, their night continues at a club after Ruby throws another public tantrum as she tries to calm down after seeing Angus. Two good Samaritans happen upon the distressed Ruby and friends and invite them to a club where they work.

A main problem with the movie is that it seems more fun than it actually is. If you’re expecting The Hangover or Rough Night, you end up waiting and waiting for the debauchery to really start, and it never does. The movie has a great soundtrack, the girls are dressed to the nines and the club is lit up with neon lights, so the atmosphere for fun is there, but nothing ever gets out of control the way it’s implied.

The movie does feel slow but when the actual story is finally revealed, everything fits. At the club, the friends mostly get separated; Sophie (Arielle Carver O’Neill) has fallen for a man she just met, Emma (Sanaa Sha’ik) has gotten very drunk after using a work acquaintance to get into the fancy restaurant which they then got kicked out of, and Nina (‘Ana Ika) has decided this is the night to propose to her somewhat new girlfriend. The friends aren’t nearly as well constructed as Ruby and aren’t as entertaining.

One aspect that I love about this movie is that they don’t reveal which character gets them in trouble. When Ruby is being interrogated, they ask about her relationship, but they don’t give a name. So while we’re waiting for all hell to break loose, there’s a bit of a guessing game of which new character causes everything to come crashing down. Instead nothing comes crashing down and we’re treated to a romantic comedy.

Normally I’m not a fan of misdirection of genre implying a women behaving badly movie and delivering a romantic comedy instead would often be a let down, but the structure and the ending of the movie make it all work. To temper expectations, expect more of a tame Girls' Trip or The Broken Hearts Gallery instead of The Hangover.

Available to rent (iTunes, Amazon, etc.)

Something Similar But Different:

  The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020) - A genuinely funny rom-com with entertaining and empathetic characters.

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