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‘1 Night’ (review)

Produced by Kerry Barden,
Hans Canosa, Marius Markevicius
Written and Directed by Minhal Baig
Starring Anna Camp, Justin Chatwin,
Isabelle Fuhrmaan, Kyle Allen,
Kelli Berglund, Roshon Fegan

Anna Camp (the Pitch Perfect films) and Justin Chatwin (Tom Cruise’s son in War of The Worlds) portray a married couple, Elizabeth and Drew, going through a tumultuous period.

They (apparently) decide to relive the night of their high school Senior Prom in an attempt to get to the roots of their relationship.

At the prom, they meet a teenage boy and girl – longtime platonic friends – who are having separate, miserable times at their own Prom.

Bea (Isabelle Fuhrman) just got dumped by her prom date and boyfriend, and Andy (Kyle Allen), the yearbook photographer and aspiring photojournalist, is at the prom dateless, but obviously pines for his friend.

The film, set entirely in and around the hotel at which the prom take place, follows the two couples’ parallel stories.

In a nifty twist, it’s hinted early on that the married couple somehow has (perhaps) gone back in time to interact with their younger selves (Bea and Andy) and try to salvage their crumbling marriage.
Minhal Baig’s debut feature as writer/director is a solid romantic drama that certainly benefits from said nifty twist.

The acting is fine all-around, the characters interesting and believable, the relationships involving.
Involving as the relationships are, the married couple’s issues could have been fleshed out a bit more.

There are ominous references to “Argentina” – photojournalist Drew went there, presumably on assignment, and betrayed Elizabeth somehow – that are never detailed.

We get the idea, but the lack of detail is indicative of the vagueness of Elizabeth’s dissatisfaction.

There’s enough there to make it work, and the acting certainly sells it, but I would have liked one or two more anecdotes.

The younger couples’ conversations and interactions feel real and lived-in, and certainly brought back memories of my own high school relationships. The younger actors also attack their roles with conviction, which helps immeasurably to paste over some of the gaps in Baig’s script.

Those viewers who like to have everything explained thoroughly and their stories tied up in a bow will be quite frustrated by 1 Night.

Viewers who don’t fall into that camp will likely be charmed by the film.  It’s a tad too short (71 mins excluding the end credits) and slightly undernourished, but it’s also touching and mature and, in its best moments, quite beguiling.

1 Night is now playing in limited release and
is available On Demand and via Digital HD

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