Under-rated 1985 comedy-thriller directed by John Landis
, and starring Michelle Pfeiffer
and Jeff Goldblum
Briefly, Ed Okin is an insomniac aerospace engineer (Goldblum) who encounters an Iranian smuggler's girlfriend/mule Diana (Pfeiffer), at LAX, inadvertently rescuing her from her fiancÚ's homicidal crime family and getting drawn into a complicated jewel heist plot.
Has examples of:
- Action Survivor: Ed. He begins the film a poor schnook who gets dragged into a criminal conspiracy he's way unprepared for. By the end of the film, he's encountered three different flavors of organized crime, the Iranian secret police, CIA and FBI agents, and even Elvis impersonators, and is no longer phased by anything.
Ed Okin: (facing down an Iranian assassin) "This is ridiculous. You... You're a big shot, huh? You got a gun. Now what, shithead? You. Huh? Maniac...." (pauses and takes a deep breath) "Let me ask you something. Maybe you can help me. What's wrong with my life? Why is my wife sleeping with someone else? Why can't I sleep?"
- The Alleged Car: Ed's doesn't like to start.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: The "Go see Cal" commercial playing in the background at one point with a man riding a hippo is a real automotive dealership, and a real commercial. Cal Worthington "And his 'dog' spot" (which was always some different strange animal) were ubiquitous in the Los Angeles area. The dealerships still exist, but Cal died in September 2013.
- And Starring: "and David Bowie as Colin Morris"
- Asleep for Days Ed, at the end, for two days - and awakening in the same position with hands behind the head and his elbows up and not a bit stiff!
- Berserk Button: The SAVAK agents are touchy. It ends badly for the parrot.
- Briefcase Full of Money
- Elvis Impersonator: Diana's brother Charlie.
- Farce: Ed is waiting for Diana on a TV show set and he leans against a rock which breaks, and tries to use a payphone only to discover it's a prop.
- Fanservice: Girls are shown nude three times in this film and none of them are really important to the plot.
- Femme Fatale: Diana is between this and Damsel in Distress. Slightly subverted in that she knows full well she's a "bad guy" but doesn't want to hurt Ed.
- Film Noir
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The SAVAK agent played by Landis has an impressive set of Evil Scars, including a large one on his throat (which is apparently to explain why he's The Speechless).
- Indy Ploy: From the moment Ed and Diana meet, the film is one long series of Indy Ploys devised by the two of them.
- The Insomniac: Ed's insomnia is what gets the plot going.
- MacGuffin: Six perfect emeralds from the crown jewels of Iran.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: As an Unbuilt Trope at the time, Diana has elements of this, but while she certainly does shake up Ed's humdrum life, Ed spends a lot of the first half of the film just wanting to go home now and forget abou her.
- Modesty Bedsheet: in the opening Ed's wife is asleep nude in bed with the bedsheet conveniently covering her rear.
- My Car Hates Me
- Need a Hand, or a Handjob?: Played with.
Herb: There's a girl there who will do anything you want for $200 dollars an hour.
Ed: Like what?
Herb: Anything! If you want she'll dress like Santa Claus!
Ed: Will she bring me a pony?
- P.O.V. Cam: being drowned
- Slapstick: quite a bit of the comedy, especially involving the four Iranian hitmen. In fact, that's why Landis plays one of them - he found that he could more easily direct actors with little experience in this comedic tradition if he led by example.
- Technology Marches On: Even the uber-rich didn't bother with cellphones in 1985.
- Title Theme Tune: "Into the Night", during the opening credits.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: During the climax, most of the bad guys get blown away, but the one played by John Landis seems to get a special sendoff. In an interview, he said "That's the way I'd want to go".
- Token Romance: Averted. There is no romantic tension or subplot between Ed and Diana at all, leaving it up to the viewer if something happens after the movie ends.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment (though in this case it *does* refer to the, uh, other compartment).
- Villains Out Shopping: Or rather getting suits in the middle of the night.
- Vomit Discretion Shot
- You Didn't See That: At the end a friend of Jack's dumps a HUGE load of cash on the bed for Ed and Diana from Jack. Ed says "Is this all ours?" The agent then fills his pockets with a few stacks and points out there's nothing Ed and Diana can do about what he just did.
- Your Cheating Heart: The film starts with Ed discovering his wife is having an affair.