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Film / Go

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"They can't evict you on Christmas - then you'd be Ho-Ho-Homeless!"

Go is a 1999 comedy/crime film directed by Doug Liman (Swingers) and starring William Fichtner, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Sarah Polley, and Scott Wolf. It also features Taye Diggs, Breckin Meyer, Timothy Olyphant, Desmond Askew, Jane Krakowski, J. E. Freeman, and Melissa McCarthy. John August got his breakthrough as a screenwriter with this film.

Generally viewed as one of the better Pulp Fiction knock-offs of The '90s, the film follows Simultaneous Arcs of various groups of people during One Crazy Night, all vaguely connected by drugs.

Not to be confused for the ancient board-game known in English as "Go", or the short-lived '80s game show.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Two male Hollywood actors are forced to have a dinner date with the cop who arrested them to get on his good side. Whenever the cop and his wife are in different rooms, they both seem to be hitting on the actors, but the actors can't quite be sure. It turns out that the cop and his wife were just buttering them up to to recruit them into a pyramid scheme.
  • Anachronic Order: Obviously inspired by Pulp Fiction, the order of events sometimes rewinds when jumping to a new plotline.
  • Anti-Climax Cut: The Victors head to L.A. after their run-in with Simon to take revenge on him. They track down Todd (whose credit card Simon was using) instead. A brutal beat down follows? Nope. Instead, we see Todd and the Victors sitting a table together while Todd draws a map to Simon's place.
  • Anti-Role Model: Choose a character.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: The two strippers get some of Victor Jr.'s blood on them after he gets shot in the arm, and are clearly rattled by this.
  • Brick Joke: Manny, arguably
  • Cheater Gets Cheated On: Played with. Zack and Adam have a tense conversation that implies Adam is having an affair with Zack's significant other, and that Zack knows about it. Later it's revealed that A) The two of them are gay and in a secret relationship, B) They've been cheating on each other, and C) They've both been cheating with the same man. They decide to blame the whole thing on him and end up giving him a forced haircut in revenge.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Simon won't stop having sex with the two women he met at a wedding even when he notices the hotel room is on fire. They don't feel the same way once they notice the fire.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Sarah Polley's Ronna initially seems to be the main character, but she apparently gets killed at the end of the first act. The film then follows various other groups of people. She gets better anyway.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: The action all takes place on Christmas Eve, but the holiday really doesn't have much to do with the story.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film takes place primarily over the course of one crazy night, with a little bit of the day before and the morning after thrown in.
  • Fake High: The gang sells aspirin to clueless teens as ecstasy, and they all pretend to get high. It helps that Ronna convinces them to smoke "like, a lot of pot" to go with it.
  • Fan Disservice: A stripper's bare breasts are splattered with blood after the club bouncer gets shot.
  • Fanservice Extra: Nikki Fritz and Tane McClure (two actresses mainly known for appearing in softcore erotic films on late-night Cinemax) have small roles as strippers in a Las Vegas gentleman's club.
  • Flush the Evidence: Ronna flushes ecstasy pills down the toilet before replacing them with fake ones to give to Todd.
  • Forbidden Fruit:
    • Claire shows some attraction to the Ambiguously Gay Adam and Zack, who turn out to be actually gay.
    Claire: Gay men are so hot. It's tragic.
    • The strippers repeatedly act as forbidden fruit to Simon. He's warned not to ask for a lap dance (which they can barely afford) and then not to touch them, but does both.
  • Idiot Houdini: A sleazy strip-club owner berates his useless son for this.
    "You know what wakes me up in the middle of the night covered in a cold sweat? Knowing that you aren't any worse than anyone else in your whole screwed up generation. In the old days, you know how you got to the top? Huh? By being better than the guy ahead of you. How do you people get to the top? By being so fucking incompetent, that the guy ahead of you can't do his job, so he falls on his ass and congratulations, you are now on top. And now the top is down here, it used to be up here... and you don't even know the fucking difference."
  • Lineage Ladder: Played for Laughs when white guy Tiny assumes that since his "mother's mother's mother was black" it allows him N-Word Privileges. His black friend Marcus doesn't believe it.
    Marcus: Your mother's mother—? You know what? Show me a picture. Let me see this Nubian princess!
    Tiny: I don't keep a picture of my mother's mother's mother in my wallet!
  • Mistaken for Gay: Adam and Zack bicker like an old married couple, causing a girl at the supermarket to think that they're gay. In a surprise reveal, it turns out that they are.
  • Mistaken for Servant: Marcus, due to being black and wearing a gold blazer.
  • Mushroom Samba: Manny takes a handful of ecstasy and while in a grocery store starts hearing 'Macarena' and hallucinates that he is dancing with the checkout lady and they are feeding each other bananas.
  • My Fist Forgives You: The Victors accept shooting Simon in the arm as a fulfillment of their revenge. Simon seems to be quite happy with the arrangement.
  • Only Sane Woman: Claire is a grounded character who is bothered by the zany plot and repeatedly protests about her acquaintances making her an accessory to crimes rather than just going along with their schemes.
  • One Crazy Night: Follows Simultaneous Arcs of various groups of people during one crazy night, all vaguely connected by drugs.
  • Precision F-Strike: Near the end of the movie, when Claire asks Ronna where Manny is, and Ronna remembers (see Something We Forgot below):
    Ronna: Oh, fuck me.
  • Random Events Plot: There's no central goal in the film. It covers various characters motivated to do a wide range of things for personal reasons, such as get money for rent, attend a rave, have fun in Las Vegas, get out of a drug charge, etc.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: One character plays with a loaded handgun in a moving car while his increasingly-concerned friend attempts to get it back from him before it goes off. It doesn't.
  • Revenge: With some Honor-Related Abuse thrown in.
  • Romance on the Set: In-Universe Adam & Zack
  • Short Titles: Go is almost as short as it can get.
  • Shout-Out: Todd asks Claire early on, "Are you a virgin? Answer the question, Claire!" Eventually, she gets the reference.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Go employs four simultaneous storylines: one with a group of club kids, one with a drug dealer enjoying a weekend in Las Vegas, one with a pair of soap opera actors, and one with a narcotics officer. Some stories start earlier, and others finish later, but they overlap and intersect in several places.
  • Something We Forgot: Ronna remembers at the end of the film that she left Manny behind a dumpster all night. She picks him up in the very last scene.
  • Those Two Guys: Adam and Zack have a lot of comical banter and share their screen time. They're also a gay couple.
  • Three-Way Sex: Simon crashes a wedding and brings both bridesmaids back to his hotel room for sex, only to accidentally set the room on fire during the foreplay.
  • Title Drop: "Go" is said in each of the storylines, demonstrating the flexibility of the word.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: Simon's story arc involves him making a trip to Vegas with Marcus, Tiny and Singh. The trip quickly gets out of hand and winds up with them on the run from the vengeful owners of a strip club.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • Todd is introduced sitting around his apartment with nothing on besides his pants and a Santa hat.
    • Adam is seen with his shirt unbuttoned and wearing underwear when the cops are taping a wire to him.
    • Detective Burke spends a while wearing nothing but boxer shorts while making conversation with Zack before his dinner party.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Adam and Zach are discussing who could be cheating on them, Zach says, "Isn't it ironic?", to which Adam replies, "Don't you think?"