Film: After Hours

A 1985 Black Comedy by Martin Scorsese. To date it's Scorsese's only 'pure' comedy and a very dark one too.

The movie takes place in New York City over the course of one night. Unhappy office drone Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) meets a beautiful girl in a cafe and ends up calling over at her place in SoHo. Things work out badly and he ends up leaving hurriedly. The remainder of the movie chronicles his attempts to get home and the often surreal obstacles he faces.

The film also starred Rosanna Arquette and Linda Fiorentino.

During its initial run, it had competition the following year in the form of Something Wild, starring Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith and Ray Liotta, which was also a movie about a milquetoast guy meeting a very worldly girl, and then things take a turn for the dark.

Not to be confused with the Cracked Web Original series of the same name. Also not to be confused with the fan video series Marvel/DC: After Hours.

This Movie Contains Examples Of:

  • And I Must Scream: Paul's brief entrapment in a statue. As originally written, he was going to end up that way.
  • Bad Humor Truck: Mild example with Gail's Mister Softee truck: it is the only vehicle amongst the angry horde that is hounding Paul, and is driven by one of its craziest members.
  • Bar Brawl: The punks try to shave Paul's head. It is Mohawk Night, after all.
  • Big Applesauce: It is a Scorsese movie, after all.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: An absurdist take on it.
  • Black Comedy
  • Book Ends: Paul ends up right back in his desk the very next morning.
  • Brains and Bondage: Kiki is a So Ho artist, and Paul mistakenly believes she's been tied up against her will.
  • Brick Joke: Paul goes into a diner to use a restroom, but the owner tells him it's for customers only, so he orders a burger and coffee and then ducks out. He later unwittingly ends up in the same diner where the bartender from earlier requests he get a glass of water. The owner silently brings the water, along with the burger and coffee.
    • En route to So Ho, Paul's only dollar bill (a fifty) ends up flying out of the cab, forcing him to ditch and leaving behind an angry driver. He later manages to get some money and finds the same driver again, who is all too happy to take the money and leave him stranded to his fate.
  • Bouncer: He only lets people with Mohawks into Club Berlin.
  • Chased By Pissed-Off New Yorkers: Paul, during the latter part of the film.
  • Coolest Club Ever: Club Berlin, although it's just another hellish obstacle to Paul.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Paul ends up on his knees, begging the universe for an answer as to why he keeps being tormented. Once he sees a murder through a window in the middle of running away from an angry mob, he's so tired of his torment that he just snarks that someone will blame him for that.
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous Marcy's naked corpse is fully revealed when Paul checks to see if she really did have the burn scars he thought he saw. She doesn't.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: It begins at night and ends in the morning.
  • Gainax Ending: The movie as it is has a somewhat odd ending (with Paul just happening to fall out of a van while encased in a sculpture, right outside his place of work). Reportedly, another idea for an ending had Paul climbing into a woman's womb, and being "reborn" by the side of a highway.
  • Kafka Komedy: One of the most frequently cited examples. The bouncer's dialogue is even taken from 'Before the Law'.
  • Magical Realism: Club Berlin, Marcy's disappearing and reappearing burn scars, amongst others.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Marcy is exactly the plucky type Paul seems to need to get himself out of his boring rut. However, this trope is very darkly subverted - She has a husband as well as a boyfriend, and ends up killing herself after Paul walks out on her.). Gail is also a dark subversion, in that she starts very chipper, but torments Paul (denying him the ability to contact someone who can help him) and later leads a lynch mob after him, partly because she thinks he's a thief and partly (apparently) out of murderous spite.
  • No Fame, No Wealth, No Service: The bouncer seems to be doing this to Paul, as there is no line outside the nightclub. However, it turns out it's because he lacks a Mohawk, yet another one of the ways he is viewed as an outsider.
  • One Crazy Night: All Paul wants to do is go home, but a series of increasingly bizarre things keep happening to him.
  • Random Events Plot: Paul stumbles from one bizarre situation to the next.
  • Really Gets Around: Kiki.
  • Title Drop: Tom mentions that "different rules apply" when it gets to be "after hours".
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Kiki makes plaster-of-Paris sculptures resembling bagels and cream cheese. Also, the freakish screaming papier-mache sculptures.invoked
  • World Gone Mad: There doesn't seem to be a completely damage-free person alive or awake late at night.