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  One More Saturday Night Gratefully Received
Year: 1986
Director: Dennis Klein
Stars: Tom Davis, Al Franken, Moira Harris, Frank Howard, Bess Meyer, David Reynolds, Chelcie Ross, Eric Saiet, Jessica Schwartz, Dianne B. Shaw, Nina Siemaszko, Jonathan Singer, Meshach Taylor, Nan Woods, Wynton Harris, Pat Billingsley, Kevin J. O'Connor
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's another Saturday in this town in Minnesota and the locals are planning their evenings, which may or may not include going to see the band Badmouth who have arrived to play at a nightclub there. The two frontmen, Larry (Tom Davis) and Paul (Al Franken) are impressed by the women they see as they check into their hotel, Paul reasoning that the Swedish ancestors of many of the state's residents offers them that Scandinavian appearance they like so much. So they are fairly sure they're going to get lucky tonight after the show, but another chap who feels the same is the boyfriend of one girl Paul may be getting to know rather better...

The movies drawn from Saturday Night Live are many, and truth be told most of them make you think the characters were better on television and opening out their stories to a full length feature may have been a step too far, but the fertile talent the iconic show developed still produced many comedians and writers who wished to make the transition to the big screen. Future Senator Al Franken and Tom Davis were two of those who were both writers and performers, often appearing as a double act and trading in smartass humour, but come the middle of the eighties they were not as in demand for the show as they had been in the seventies, so decided to pen their own film script.

One More Saturday Night was that script, which on viewing today looked like Robert Altman-esque meander through a selection of teen movie characters, something coincidentally the actual Altman was preparing with O.C. and Stiggs. Except this was a lot more like the teen movies of its decade - many of those featured are meant to be in that age bracket - though it was far from the popularity of the John Hughes movies regarded as the pinnacle of the form even to this day. If anything, this example resembled the eighties version of Superbad, with similarly sex-obsessed males chasing after usually more sensible females, though even then there are a few girls who let the side down.

Interlacing a selection of subplots, the real concern was what Diane (Nan Woods) would do on her night out, though oddly she was far down the cast list in spite of probably being the character we had the most investment in, seeing as how she has lost her mother and lives with her family, with dad (Chelcie Ross) awkwardly trying out the dating scene once again in another narrative line. She is supposed to be going out with her boorish boyfriend until she leaves him behind when told he lied about sleeping with her, and instead goes to that nightclub with her pal whereupon before she knows it she's sharing joints with Larry and Paul and up on stage providing the backing vocals. But will she agree to go back to their hotel room to indulge in groupie-style hanky panky?

At first we think the rock musicians, who play Grateful Dead influenced rock as befitting Franken and (especially) Davis's hero-worship of the band, are typical insensitive dunderheads, but then all too many of the folks in this movie fit that template, yet by the end they have emerged as nice guys after all, which is what happens if the stars are penning the screenplay one supposed. Although promoted as a comedy, not that it was promoted very extensively as it was forgotten about at the time never mind now, One More Saturday Night is just as much a drama, with such threads as the babysitter turning the parents' house into a party zone and the idiot who wants to impress his equally foolish girl by housebreaking mixing with more contemplative material which might have made a stronger effort, as the humour was mildly amusing at best. Still, if your taste in movies extends to giving productions which have been neglected down the years another chance, you might have found something to like; it wasn't as sharp as the double act's SNL work. Music by David McHugh.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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