This Martin Scorcese comedy is one of those movies that is under appreciated and is screaming for a redo. With the way Hollywood is pumping out remake after remake these days, this would totally make a great new comedy even though the original is still a good watch to this day. But there are little things that would make it interesting with new characters and with updated technology and such, it easily could be a new Steve Carrell comedy. But I’m putting the carriage before the horse, let’s go over the original first and I’ll create MY version of the 2011 remake after.
Paul Hacket (Griffin Dunne) is a word processor. His life is, for the most part, a bore. One night he meets a woman at a deli and she gives him her roommates phone number. Although it’s late, he decides to give her a late night booty call. She invites him to her friends’ SoHo apartment and from there things get a little weird. As much as I would love to give away what happens that night, I won’t. Needless to say, try as he might, he can’t get out of SoHo for a variety of reasons and as the night slips away he finds himself the target of a neighborhood manhunt.
This movie is listed as a comedy but it’s DARK comedy and it can also be considered a drama. With the setting being SoHo, you can imagine the kind of characters he finds himself running into and half the fun is watching Dunne unraveling with each passing minute. This role practically SCREAMS Carrell. Both actors possess the ability to get you to sympathize with their characters when they find themselves in dire situations and some of the situations this character gets involved in are as infuriating as they are humorous!
The supporting cast in this flick is perfect and loaded with talent. If I were to recast this movie for today, here is how I would do it…
Rosanna Arquette is the girl Hackett meets in the deli. She is, as always, a perfect choice to play the loopy character, Marcy, who has some issues (to say the least). I’d bring in Zoey Deschnnel to play this role. She’s the perfect mix of dark & weird. Her friend Kiki is played by Linda Fiorentino. She might be the only normal character in the movie and is a combination of sexy and cool in a chic way. Zoe Kravitz might be a good choice for that role. From there it’s kind of a who’s who as far as the original is concerned. John Heard, Teri Garr, Catherine O’Hara, Bronson Pinchot, Cheech & Chong all make appearances and the characters are all able to be converted to modern day. As a matter of fact, every aspect of this film that is NOT a person can be converted to a more modern version that might make it interesting. From subway fare to credit cards to cell phones, a more modern version of this might make it an more frustrating process for Paul Hackett because we now have so many more ways that allow us freedom from money and communicating with others. To FORCE his character to do so in modern times could be hysterical!
Anyway, the 1985 Scorcese film is a classic and should be seen by anyone who likes their humor dark and spicy. But an updated version could also be a compelling compliment to the original and with the right cast, could be as much of a classic as the first one!
Overall Rating: A
Idea of a Remake with Steve Carrell: A+