Late Night Shopping
Woops. Vincent (Lance) makes a move on Sean's girlfriend Madeline (Makatsch)...
dir Saul Metzstein
scr Jack Lothian
with Luke de Woolfson, James Lance, Kate Ashfield, Enzo Cilenti, Heike Makatsch, Sienna Guillory, Shauna MacDonald, Laurie Ventry, Bobby Finn, Nigel Buckland, Lesley Harcourt, Garry Sweeney
release UK 22.Jun.01
01/UK 1h34

2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
let's not go to work Another British rom-com about 20-somethings trying to make sense of love and relationships. No, this film isn't terribly original, but it is genuinely engaging. Our core group here is four night workers, all in brain-dead first jobs: Sean (de Woolfson) is an endearing, nice-guy hospital porter; the womanising Vincent (Lance) stacks shelves in a supermarket; Lenny (Cilenti) is a shy directory enquiries operator, and the quirky, intelligent Jody (Ashfield) builds circuit boards on an assembly line. They only know each other because they meet at a local cafe for "lunch" in the middle of the night, comparing notes about their personal lives, which are quite convoluted and involve lots of romantic entanglements past and present. They need to sort out all this before they can move on with their lives and cement their friendship.

Stylishly filmed with clever cinematography, dissolves and edits, the film at least looks fantastic. And the actors are very watchable in their roles, which only occasionally slip into cliches. The filmmakers obviously watch a lot of Ally McBeal, as they fill scenes with wacky cutaways and outrageous little gags. And the Friends parallel is fairly obvious as well. But being filmed in Glasgow gives it all a slightly askew feel, and the cast is generally natural and funny. It's all breezy and charming until the last half hour, when the story sags badly and drags out the ending for what feels like an eternity. The life lessons and "we all need each other" moral are painfully obvious, while the screwball comic elements never quite gel. It's never awful, but you do wish the filmmakers had sustained the kinetic energy of the first half and then figured out a vaguely original way to resolve things. Admittedly, there aren't many options when it comes to ending a romantic comedy, are there?
themes, language cert 15 19.Jun.01

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"Anything with James Lance in it gets my vote everytime. Let's face it: he is gorgeous and having seen him in quite a bit of stuff now, this is one actor worth looking out for." --Daisy, Ipswich 20.Nov.02
2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall