Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Unmissable Movie


Night Shift 1982 A sweet , funny comedy with Michael Keaton's debut role. This movie also features the debut of Kevin Costner and Shannon Doherty. Henry Winkler is trapped a loveless engagement with Gina Hecht and falls for neighbor Shelly Long who happens to be a hooker. After being transferred to the night shift at the morgue, Micheal Keaton devises this scheme to get rich by being "pimps". They succeed beyond their wildest dreams. I saw this movie in the theatre after our resident movie guy at KY102 (Jack Poessiger) loved it. It was relesed in the middle of the summer in 1982. Adam Sandler and Pauly Shore can only DREAM of being as funny as Michael Keaton in "Night Shift." Keaton's hilarious performance only serves to underscore the fact that he's never been near as funny since.Sure, the movie will never be in the AFI's top 100 list. But when I was 26, I only dreamed of being as funny as Billy Blaizejowski, Keaton's character in the film. I credit the script for great lines, but I doubt anyone could have made an annoying character like Billy loveable - except Keaton. Henry Winkler does a bang-up job with a straight role that affords audiences little to get excited about. He is completely convincing as an in-over-his-head nebbish with a nervous stomach, and deserves credit for pulling it off without seeming whiny. We identify with Winkler's character even though we can see how cowardly he is.The plot, of course, is contrived, as is any plot involving hookers with hearts of gold. It's hard to see Shelly Long as a prostitute, but she plays it gamely and has fun with the role.I recommend this film if you have any craziness to your sense of humor, or just if you're a male between the ages of 17 and 25. That's the target audience, but even at 53, I still find Keaton's performance refreshing and laugh-out-loud funny. It came on the Universal HD channel the other night and even though I was dead tired, I watched every minute. One bit of trivia, the music was written by Burt Bacharach and featured Quarterflash singing the title tune and Rod Stewart singing "That's What Friends Are For" over the end credits. I have always liked his version much better than the one that was popular. Once again, a sweet, funny movie with an over the top performance by Michael Keaton and a great role by Shelly Long (who has never looked better) and enough silly stuff to get you through the film.

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