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Film / The Last Days of Disco

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The Last Days of Disco is a 1998 comedy-drama film written and directed by Whit Stillman, starring Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale.

The film follows Alice Kinnon (Sevigny) and Charlotte Pingress (Beckinsale), two young women in the early 1980s who are Hampshire College graduates and work in a New York publishing house as poorly paid readers, who after work are able to enter an exclusive disco nightclub.

The Last Tropes of Disco:

  • All Issues Are Political Issues: At one point, Charlotte talks about how much fun she had seeing Lady and the Tramp with her little niece and nephew. Josh replies by deconstructing the movie as promoting an unrealistic and self-destructive view towards relationships with the opposite sex, "imprinting on their little psyches the idea that smooth-talking delinquents recently escaped from the local pound are a good match for nice girls from sheltered homes."
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: After she collapses at the apartment, Alice and Charlotte talk about singing songs in the street, but nobody mentions a title except "Amazing Grace" (which Charlotte then sings).
  • Analogy Backfire:
  • Big Applesauce: The movie takes place in New York City.
  • The Cameo: Characters from director Stillman's previous films Metropolitan and Barcelona make appearances.
  • Cast Full of Rich People: The cast aren't ostentatiously wealthy, but they all attended elite schools, and Alice and Charlotte, despite being Pottery Barn Poor, mention that they're getting financial help from their parents.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The disco nightclub, based on Studio 54, is "impossible to get into."
  • Creative Closing Credits/Dance Party Ending: The ending credit sequence shows people on the subway and even people on platforms dancing to "Love Train".
  • Dueling Movies: This movie was released just four months before 54.
  • End of an Era: This film, like Boogie Nights, shows characters who had a good time at the end of The '70s reacting to changes brought on by The '80s.
  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Charlotte is brunette, bitchy, icy, and selfish, while Alice is timid and withdrawn with blonde hair.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Josh tells Alice that he always wanted to say "book this clown". She talks about how unlikely this is to happen. He then says that during the club raid.
  • The Last Title: The title.
  • Monster Roommate: Charlotte and Alice drive each other mad.
  • Odd Couple: Alice and Charlotte have this kind of friendship; Alice is rather shy, mild-natured and romantic, while Charlotte is outgoing, rather shallow and selfish.
  • Production Throwback: Characters from director Stillman's previous films Metropolitan and Barcelona make appearances.
  • Right Through His Pants: When the warning about the DEA comes through, Des is having sex on the couch. The woman is shown fully naked, while Des is shown immediately wrapped in a towel.
  • Visible Boom Mic: When Charlotte and Alice are walking down a corridor.
  • With Friends Like These...: Charlotte is constantly critical of Alice, often under the guise of looking out for her or giving her advice.
  • Year X: Set in "the very early 1980s."