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Film / 54

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"Welcome to the Party."

A 1998 American drama film written and directed by Mike Christopher, about the legendary, eponymous New York City disco club of the 1970s.

Summer, 1979: 19-year-old gas station attendant Shane O'Shea (Ryan Phillippe) leaves his home in the New Jersey suburbs for Manhattan, where he's hired as a busboy at Studio 54 by Steve Rubell (Mike Myers) and gains entry to the exclusive club. Before long, Shane has a one-night stand with club regular Billie Austin (Sela Ward), gets promoted to bartender, and meets—and falls for—soap opera star Julie Black (Neve Campbell). He also befriends Anita Randazzo (Salma Hayek), the club's coat check girl; her husband, Greg (Breckin Meyer); and an elderly party girl (Ellen Albertini Dow) known only as "Disco Dottie". Shane gradually gets caught up in the drugs, sex, and debauchery that ultimately lead to Steve Rubell's undoing—and the downfall of Studio 54.

In 2015, a director's cut was released. This cut restored 40 minutes of original material and cut 30 minutes of studio reshoots. Most of what was cut were scenes showing bisexual and homosexual relationships, including a kiss between Shane and Greg. As well as entire sub-plots, such as Shane and Anita's affair and Greg struggling with the decision to have sex with his boss for a promotion.

The director's cut also features a different ending, with Shane, Greg and Anita staying together as a family rather than drifting apart.

This film contains tropes of:

  • Jerkass: Steve, in spades. Mike Myers seems to play him as Fat Bastard if he wasn't fat.
  • Missing Mom: Shane's mother passed away when he was a preteen.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Shane, who gladly strips off his shirt to get Steve's attention and get a job in Studio 54.
  • Named After Someone Famous: Shane's baby sisters Grace and Kelly are named after Grace Kelly.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Disco Dottie, whose real name is revealed to be Mona.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: A party in Studio 54 may be considered this.
  • The Peeping Tom: Steve spies on Anita and Shane having sex in the bathroom. Later, he tells Greg he'd like to see him and his wife "wrestling around".
  • Really Gets Around: Shane.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: A one sided one. Greg initially refuses to have sex with Steve for a promotion, saying he's married. He is faithful to Anita throughout the film, and freaked out on Shane for kissing him. Anita however, agrees to sleep with someone for a chance at a record deal, and cheats on Greg with Shane.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: What happens in Studio 54 may be considered a disco version of this.
  • Sex for Services: Steve offers Greg a bartending job in exchange for oral sex. Greg almost does it, but is freaked out when he realizes there is another man in the room. Later in the film, he decides to let it happen but Steve declines his offer.
  • Sleeping Their Way to the Top: Shane does this.