Paul Hackett is a data processor who goes out for an innocent coffee one night, meets a interesting girl…and his night goes downhill from there. After meeting Marcy Paul agrees to go on a date later that evening and soon discovers that everything that can happen to him late night in New York will happen, from his money flying out his cabs window to being chased down by an angry mob who thinks he’s a thief. After leaving Marcy all Paul wants to do is go home but he can do anything but.
After Hours is by far the least Scorsese-like film I’ve ever seen by Martin Scorsese. It’s not about thugs, men with too much testosterone, or family. In fact the only defining characteristic about this film that makes it a Scorsese film is that it takes place in New York…and that’s Scorsese directed the film.
This film is a bit scattered, but in a delightful way. It’s almost like Scorsese tried making a David Lynch film. There is a twisted sense of humor about the piece, and watching how far Paul Hackett can stumble into the underbelly of New York before coming up again is pretty fascinating. Everyone you meet in the film is a unique eccentric character that you’ve never seen on film before; in the exact opposite kind of crazy that Travis Bickle is the characters in After Hours are aboard the crazy train, but have eccentric traits that make them artists, club hoppers, bartenders, and individuals obsessed with eras – characters you would expect to see in a vast metropolis but not all at once.
I think my favorite part of the film has to be when Paul meets Gail. Gail owns a Mr. Softee ice cream truck and decides to give Paul a ride home in if after she whacks him with her cab door and her cabby steals his newfound money. However, Gail comes to believe that Paul is a serial burgler that is robbing her neighborhood and becomes part of a mob that wants to hunt him down. It’s a delightful mixtures of warped sadism and humor.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Joseph Minion
Paul Hackett: Griffin Dunne
Marcy: Rosanna Arquette
Kiki: Linda Fiorentino
Gail: Catherine O’Hara
Street Pickup: Why don't you just go home?
Paul Hackett: Pal, I've been asking myself that all night.