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"I found this one in the bargain section. As others have mentioned, this film is not exactly "Citizen Kane". What we have here is a tame teen-sex comedy from the mid-80's that is almost instantly forgettable... almost.The big draw is of course Susanna Hoffs, of Bangles fame. While Hoffs dances a bit, she doesn't sing anything except on the soundtrack. Still, if you're a fan of the Bangles or just Hoffs, then this film was made for you. Hoffs doesn't really embarrass herself acting-wise. She does pretty good for what a film like this one demands (not too much), and the same can be said for the other cast members. Actually, the whole cast is likable. And at heart, "The Allnighter" is an indie film more than it is a throwaway Hollywood teen flick. Both factors make the film more tolerable. The story is pretty weak, lending more to caricature than characterization. Five co-eds are about to graduate after four long years at Pacifica University. Gina is documenting her friends' last day as college students on a videocamera, so that "twenty years from now... [you'll] remember us as were were on this day." While not quite twenty years later, the line is still ironic.Val is about to be married to some rich but overbearing and fey business dude, and she must go spend time with him rather than attend the last big fiesta with her pals. Bummer! The strangely pale Gina (the only character without a suntan), is fixated on her documentary. Molly (Hoffs) is just down on herself. After four years, she's still not met the perfect guy (or any guy). The girls' two male friends are surfer dudes. Killer is a philosophying hippie soul-of-an-artist type, and king of the waves. CJ is his best pal, and the object of Molly's affections, 80's hair wings and all. If only CJ could open up and be real, and see more than the waves, he and Molly could be making their own waves!Complications follow throughout the rest of the evening in this "Animal House Lite" chick-flick, including a run in with the police, the big fiesta, an old romance between one of Molly's teachers and a former rock star, etc. Actually, there are some interesting moments, since as I said, at heart this is an indie film. Credit newly minted director (and Hoffs' Mom), Tamar Simon Hoffs for making the attempt to go beyond the average teen comedy flick.Familliar faces include Pam Grier as (of all things!), Sergeant McLeesh, matron of the female section of the local jail. Pam Grier fans will like her in the movie (and acting-wise, she overpowers the entire cast despite her small supporting role). Michael Ontkean of "Twin Peaks" fame is also on hand, as a washed up rock singer that Molly idolizes. Meshach Taylor plays a hotel detective. Dedee Pfeiffer (Michelle's sister), plays the struggling Val, and Joan Cusack plays the camera-toting Gina. The device of Joan Cusak's character documenting the last day of their college time works for the most part, but somewhere along the way the film gets lost and takes bizzare sidetrips that stall the story. This is too bad, because there was some real potential for a memorable film here, which could have gone further than just Bangles fans or day-glo-philes.On the plus side, the disc includes "The Haircut", a short 1982 indie film by Tamar Simon Hoffs. This is the real prize, believe it or not.The cast is impressive for what Tamar readily admits was practically a student film. John Cassavetes stars. Three Bangles are on hand. Joyce Bulifant (best known as Murray's wife on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", among many other roles in the 70's & 80's), plays a manicurist. Remember Nicholas Colasanto, Coach from "Cheers"? He's the barber! Again, Meshach Taylor plays a role, this time as a shoeshiner/waiter.This is a real treat, as we see a man getting the best haircut ever, which seems to change his outlook on life in the span of fifteen minutes.Audio commentary is available for both films, plus a short behind the scenes interview with Tamar about "The Haircut". This was subtitled in French. I suspect the interview was probably made for a Canadaian audience, since Canada was where the short was filmed.If you like the 80's, the Bangles, Hoffs, or just want a harmless teen flick from the day-glo era to watch, then this disc is for you. I give it three stars for "The Allnighter", plus one for the addition of "The Haircut"."
Simple, but Surely Effective
email@example.com | 03/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Allnighter" was one of the 80s many beach flicks. Theres no story that'll keep you on the edge of your seat, but the movie does make you feel good, and thats the main goal. A too-thin Susanna Hoffs leaves the Bangles for a while to play one of the five friends about to graduate from their four year stint at a college in California. With regrets for leaving their good times behind as they move on, they are determined to make the night before the ceremony the best of their lives...(and of course they do.) A wild-haired and pretty as always Joan Cusack is never without her video camera throughout the movie, catching every moment of the group's last great memory before embarking on a more mature, non-surfboard experience of life. My favorite part would have to be the scene where Joan (Gina) takes her camera and does a documentary of a burned out beach party that night, filming the passed-out drunk classmates on the sand and giving a commentary as if scouring the grounds of post war and massacre...(its funny, and its classic). Some movies are meant to thrill you or give you a shot of adrenalin, but "The Allnighter" is just as much worth seeing if you want to relax, smile a little and even have a few laughs. (Maybe I just love Joan Cusack too much, I think everyone should see it though)."
Not a bad little teen flick
firstname.lastname@example.org | 08/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok I have to admit,I rented this because Susanna Hoffs was in it. I kept expecting another dumb little comedy,but I was actually quite pleased with the outcome of the movie.Susanna Hoffs isn't a bad actress at all.The movie had some very funny scenes.The plot was pretty cute.A movie that anyone who loves those corny little 80's flicks should see."
Well, It Has Susanna Hoffs.....
email@example.com | 10/06/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Allnighter is a cheesy, weak-plotted typical teen/20's film about 3 girls having lots of fun before graduation. The movie, however, is not very fun and I found it somewhat boring. However, Susanna Hoffs makes the movie! If you like Sue as much as I, then you will like this movie. What really makes the DVD version great is the commentary with Susanna and her mother, Tamar Simon Hoffs, who directed the movie. The commentary is worth the buy alone. Now as for Shakesphere's Sister above, I have had no problems with my DVD version and I have a cheapie player. Then again, some DVD's just don't work well with certain players. Overall, if you like Sue and like to get to know about her and her mother (the commentary) buy this DVD."
Cute vehicle for Susanna
firstname.lastname@example.org | 03/01/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, Leonard Maltin's review on this site is inaccurate. It's not about 3 airheads, and there's not that much sex in it "in the AIDS era". Susanna sure doesn't play an airhead, as you'll agree if you see the movie. My complaint with this movie is that it's light on plot, it's just not that great a movie. But it's nice to see Susanna, who can clearly slide right from a music career to a movie career like Cher did. For someone who's not an actress, she carries the movie and does a good job. Beautiful as she is, and with pretty girls all over the movie, it's odd to me that the movie is clearly from the point of view of a girl, focusing on how good looking the guys are, with the beauty of the girls played down. At one point, on a public beach, Susanna is stuffing her bra to look like Dolly Parton. As if she's just a skinny unattractive girl wishing for some attention. Her beauty is of the "class" and makeup variety instead of the all-out sex appeal type, in this movie. Yet as always she has the magnetic power of the North Pole on guys. A girl can watch the movie and say she's not the prettiest one in it, she's not "all that", and meanwhile a guy has lost his heart to her. I think something or other happens in the movie, I don't really remember."