ONE CRAZY NIGHT, a lively film about five Australian teenagers who spend the night together at the height of Beatlemania, recalls THE BREAKFAST CLUB. But the adolescent anguish is tempered here with nostalgic warmth for the Fab Four, giving the film an upbeat charge.
When a swarming crowd of Beatles fans break through a police blockade in Melbourne, Emily (Beth Champion), a wholesome farm girl with a crush on John Lennon, runs from the cops. She squeezes underneath a closing grate, and finds herself in the boiler room of the very hotel that houses The
Beatles. She's not alone; there are three other teens with her: Randolph (Noah Taylor), a skinny boy with an apparent Liverpudlian accent who claims to be related to George Harrison; Didi (Danni Minogue), a mysterious girl in heavy make-up; and Danny (Malcolm Kennard), a rebellious tough who
claims to hate The Beatles. Soon a third girl, Vicki (Willa O'Neill), crashes down through an air vent to join them. She had made it all the way to the sixth floor in her search for the band before ducking security. Danny isn't impressed with her tale, and his hatred for the Beatles and insistent
sexual come-ons, particularly to the virginal Emily, pit him against the others.
The teens search for a way out but soon realize they're trapped, and begin banging out Beatle rhythms on pipes in the hope of being heard. It's no use. They begin to talk about their Beatles obsessions and life at home. Randolph, who, in fact, isn't related to George Harrison at all, says he
doesn't have much success with girls. The wild looking Didi turns out to be a nutty 13-year-old Catholic school girl who claims she's "very intimate" with Paul McCartney." Emily says she regrets not going to college. Danny reveals he was abandoned by his mother at the age of five.
This ups the confessional ante. Ringo-loving Vicki says she's pregnant, but isn't sure who the father is, and Emily admits she's not a virgin. With this remark, the sexual tension that's been building between Danny and Emily all along comes to a head. As the others sleep, the rocker and the
country girl get together. The next morning, released from their dungeon, they give a press interview, and then rush off to see The Beatles at the airport.
ONE CRAZY NIGHT is a formulaic teen film, and the basement-as-detention-center device is particularly unoriginal. But thanks to some clever writing and good performances, the stock characters are far more enjoyable than one might expect. Though Jan Sardi's script feels a bit cliched when it
comes to the bad boy-good girl romance between Emily and Danny, Randolph, Vicki and Didi--each with his or her own Beatlemaniacal quirks--are witty creations. Taylor is very funny as sharp tongued wimp Randolph, but it's Minogue's Didi, the girl whose Beatle-worship seems to take on mystical
proportions, who has the best lines. Director Michael Pattinson does a fine job blending his cast into vintage documentary footage of swarming Beatle fans.
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