That Night



Every now and then, I like to write about awesome movies from my child hood that aren't horror related. None of the sites I write for want anything to do with these so I post them on here. It's rare that I actually review films on this blog but I make it count! Everyone liked the Drop Dead Fred post and people have been sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest so why not write another? I am not in the habit of collecting non-horror VHS but I am a proud owner or this 1992 film.

Set in Long Island, 1961, a 10-year-old girl is obsessed with a 17-year-old girl and her relationship with a greaser. Based off the novel with the same title, written by Alice McDermott. You can expect some cliches and there's a cheesy scene here and there but overall this is a cute film for romance lovers and teenage girls.

The relationship between Rick and Cheryl are depicted through the eyes of a young girl who is enamored by Cheryl and idolizes her completely. Alice is an outcast amongst her friends who continue to torment her. These little brats put a frog in her mouth while they're playing spin the bottle. I never understood why they gave Alice so much grief. She's much prettier than the other girls, the ginger especially. A young Katherine Heigl doesn't even compare to Alice, played by Eliza Dushku. This was Dushku and Heigl's first film. Both surprised me and it's not too common for child actors to actually make it big and continue to stay away from drugs. Back to the character of Alice, things aren't too perfect in her home as well. Her baby brother died and her father is constantly trying to impregnate his wife so they can fill all that suffering and void. When he is not trying to impregnate his wife, he is away on business trips.

Cheryl meets rebel Rick, played by the very sexy C. Thomas Howell, when he's working at the local bowling alley. Not a bad gig. We don't really know how much older Rick is but we know Cheryl is only 17. A call for Cheryl comes in notifying her that her father just passed away and she leaves immediately with her bowling shoes. Hours after the funeral, Cheryl returns the shoes to the bowling alley and Rick is there to console her. He convinces her to make a record where she pours out her heart and soul then he tells her to bury the record and not dig it up for 50 years. Not like a record with music. Apparently, in the 60s, people recorded their thoughts often.

From that moment on, Rick and Cheryl are inseparable and everyone in the neighborhood has a problem with it. As you can see from the screen cap below, one of the mother's looks on with disgust. It's probably because she's rather mannish looking, has a bad BAD haircut, and never gets any from her husband. Rick and his friends were always hanging out in Cheryl's yard when her mother was away and Cheryl would hang out at the bowling alley, waiting for Rick to share his break with her. Eventually, Cheryl gets pregnant and her mother isn't too happy about it. Cheryl's mother fears that she is throwing her life away and Rick is going to end up hating her for the rest of his life while he works in the bowling alley and never quite makes it in life. The scene where the mother explains this to a broken hearted and confused Cheryl was very powerful with amazing acting. "If you really love him, you will let him go." Juliette Lewis is such a good actress and Helen Shaver did a great job playing her mother. As Cheryl tries to run off to see Rick and tell him the good news, her mother convinces her to go to a home for unwed mothers to have the baby. 




Rick decides, "I'm going to round up my buddies and we are going straight to Cheryl's house to get some answers!" This is a smart idea. Especially when you're drunk and it's late in the evening. I don't understand what his purpose was bring his friends along. They all get their ass beat by the neighborhood dads and it's perhaps the corniest scene in the film with terrible fighting choreography. It was too cheesy for my taste. Especially when Alice screams, "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Alice intends on keeping Rick and Cheryl together so she goes out of her way to make sure the two get back together! At first, we don't think it's going to be possible but we get our sappy, happy ending!

I thought the scene where the young girls were rubbing cream on their -A cups was a little awkward. Do girls actually do things like this in front of each other? I guess I was always shy. Nowadays, being naked in front of another woman is no big thing but when you're younger, it just doesn't happen like this. 



I feel I can relate to both the lead female roles - Young Alice and Cheryl. I was close to Alice's age when I saw this with my girlfriends. I also looked up to the character Cheryl and wanted to be her. I wanted to be wrapped up in love like Cheryl. Unfortunately, not everything happens like it does in the movies. One can always dream.

I got really tired of hearing them say, "Hey now," all the time. If I heard "Hey now" one more time.... Well I would just be annoyed. It's still a good flick. I just hate that line. The cutest quote comes from Alice when she tells a sick, pregnant Cheryl to, "DRINK LOTS OF GINGERALE!" 

You can expect plenty of oldies, my favorite among music. Dion, Aretha, and Orbison but the theme song cover "Ruler of My Heart" by Lisa Fischer is not one of my favorites. I prefer a male singer for this song and I am just not a big fan of her voice. People have been trying to find this song for years. Good luck with that. This film doesn't have a soundtrack and it's also not out on DVD.

You can buy the VHS online. I know not everyone is a fan of VHS like myself but it's still worth a look. At least for your children. Ah, childhood memories. I need to write a few more of these. Perhaps I will do Shrimp on the Barbie with Cheech Marin next.

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