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   THE NIGHT WE NEVER MET (1993) 

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CAST
Matthew Broderick
Annabella Sciorra
Kevin Anderson
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Christine Baranski
Justine Bateman
Garry Shandling

DIRECTED BY
Warren Leight

PURCHASE


Video




Time: 99 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Romantic Comedy


The whole plot of this film is based on a simple premise that works better than it has a right to. Three young New Yorkers time-share an apartment – each taking 2 days a week – in order to pursue interests or gain privacy they aren't allowed in their real lives. It's fairly formulaic, one guy's a pig, the other is a gourmet chef and the woman is stuck in between. All are looking for the perfect relationship. Luckily for the audience, the good guy is played by Matthew Broderick. Nobody does lovelorn New Yorkers better. He's a little meaner and more frustrated in this film than we normally get to see him and he pulls it off with flying colors.

The film begins with Brian (Anderson) having to give up the "Lion's Den" – the ultimate bachelor pad – because he's getting married. Of course, he's not quite ready to settle down, so he sublets the apartment 4 days a week to two other people who are looking for a little privacy. Ellen (Sciorra), a dental hygenist wants a place where she can paint and get away from her husband, a nice, but boring dry cleaner. Sam (Broderick) works the deli counter of an upscale market and is a gourmet cook. He has so many roommates in his apartment he doesn't even know them all. Plus he's trying to get over his French performance artist girlfriend, Pastel (Tripplehorn), who he keeps bumping into and can't let go of. And we can't forget Brian, a stockbrocker who continues to party like a frat boy while telling his fiancee (played by Bateman) that he's changed.




The arrangement works quite well for a while – Sam on Monday and Saturday, Ellen on Tuesday and Thursday and Brian on Wednesday and Friday – until the boys switch days, without telling Ellen. Sam is neat and leaves wonderful leftovers for her, while Brian and his buddies kill the plants, leave food out and basically destroy the place everytime they use it. Unfortunately for Ellen, she gets them confused. Desperately unhappy in her marriage, she and her husband just don't want the same future, she decides to have an affair with Brian, thinking that he's Sam.

Brian doesn't care who he's sleeping with as long as it isn't his future wife. Sam is on a dating cycle from hell from Pastel to vegetarians, he just can't seem to catch a break. He finally meets his dream girl, Inga, but has his hopes of sleeping with her crushed when Brian's fiancee comes crashing into the apartment screaming at the top her lungs. Meanwhile, Ellen makes the mistake of her life by sleeping with Brian. Not only is she completely disappointed, she realizes that she's cheated with the wrong man. It's a minor misunderstanding that is quickly remedied once they actually meet.

Like I said, there's not much to this movie, but it's pretty charming anyway. Broderick and Sciorra are great as two people who are just muddling through, yet trying to find something better. If they weren't the actors they are, this would be a pretty awful film. Don't get me wrong, THE NIGHT WE NEVER MET won't sweep you off your feet, but it will keep you interested. It's missing the magic of a great romance, but maybe that makes the whole premise a little easier to swallow. If you want to see a well-done cute film, take the time to watch this one.



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