Thursday, February 16, 2012

When the Party's Over

When the Party's Over; drama, USA, 1992; D: Matthew Irmas, S: Rae Dawn Chong, Sandra Bullock, Elizabeth Berridge, Kris Kamm, Brian McNamara, Fisher Stevens

African-American M.J. shares her L.A. apartment with friends Frankie and Amanada. They don't take life too seriously, unlike her who wants to achieve a good career, but has a car accident on her 25th birthday. Amanda, who sells paintings, meets a waiter at a party who falls in love with her and quits his job, eventually taking her to twisted plays. Lawyer Taylor leaves M.J. and starts a relationship with Frankie. M.J. tries to find a new partner - hopelessly. Disappointed, she tries to flirt with Taylor, but just at midnight they are caught by Frankie. She and Amanda leave the apartment, while M.J. stays alone.

Independent drama "When the Party's Over", that talks about the problems of young people, is not a particularly original nor magical, yet decently crafted product. The exposition is excellent when M.J. and Amanda (Sandra Bullock in her early role) are talking in complete dark, illuminated only on their outlines, yet the remaining part of the story annoys slightly with its conventional story flow, lacking some stand-out style in the visual, dramaturgical, metaphysical or any other sense. Bullock is indeed the best among the ensemble cast and convinces with her natural charm. Another interesting moment, that "wakes up" the grey mood, is the one where a change happens to the characters exactly at midnight during New Year's Day, when a protagonist finds out that her partner is cheating on her, almost coincidentally to a similar scene in "Boogie's Nights". Being shrill is overrated, yet this is one example that really shows how a lack of shrillness can be even worse, even though it is a good film overall.


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