Time: 89 mins.
I have to admit the main reason I went to see this film was to beat the heat. I figured it would be amusing enough for a few hours and I was really looking forward to the central air-conditioning. I guess you get what you pay for because though 54 has some interesting moments, you never really feel like part of the action. The camera winds you across the dance floor, but doesn't stay long enough to infect you with the pulse and sweat of the music. It's all glitz and glamour without any substance, which doesn't give the characters much to do.
Apparently, this film went through drastic changes on the way to the theater. Test-screening audiences (groups no good filmmaker should listen to) didn't like the fact that all the characters did was drink, carouse, steal, have sex with random people and do drugs without any recourse. Hello...what movie did they think they were seeing...Bambi? This is supposed to be a film about what life was like working and being part of a time and place in history where anything and everything goes. I wanted to see the underbelly, how a place like 54 would make people do anything to be a part of it. This isn't the Girl Scouts people.
Well, this version of the film kind of is. We follow the story of Shane (Ryan Phillippe), a young stud from Jersey, who yearns to get into 54 so he can meet the woman of his dreams Julia (Neve Campbell), a big soap opera actress. He doesn't want to get into 54 because he wants to be part of this amazing experience. He just wants to meet a soap queen and that's where she happens to hang out. Wrong motivation right from the start. Some people never got in, but he's picked his first time out and eventually wrangles a job from the owner himself Steve Rubell (Mike Myers). Who knew life could be so easy? Shane, of course, becomes wrapped up in the drugs and chicks lifestyle, but except for a run-in with the clap, he suffers no consequences for his actions. So what that his father won't celebrate Christmas with him. What 20-year-old wants that anyway?