In the middle of the night, when there's no one else...
Several lost-soul night-owls, including a nightclub owner, a talkback radio relationships counseller, and an itinerant stranger have encounters that expose their contradictions and anxieties about love and acceptance.
THANKS, ALAN RUDOLPH! WHY? THIS MOVIE WILL GET YOU LAID.
Neon-soaked city streets, a touch of noir sensibility, and jazz-fueled romance that entwines and entangles the characters of Rudolph's film, both in and out of the boudoir. Given to a certain sense of circuitous melodrama, insofar as characters follow their noses through the night to their next romantic partner, "their choice tonight." Some are all too eager to make a choice, while others hesitate and wallow in their own characteristic indecision. Not every choice lasts a lifetime, although some just might. It's all about taking that first step.
I dunno, there something about Rudolph... there's love in his films, a tenderness.
It's been close to twenty years since I've seen it, and I'm happy to report it hasn't lost its strange spell. Read my Spectrum Culture redicovery piece here.
I have found it: the straightforward Alan Rudolph movie. This is a good thing.
His romance for romance, a feel for film noir, really comes through in Choose Me. All of the personal idiosyncrasies of each character evoke tried-and-true tropes from earlier movies that, nonetheless, come through in an '80s setting. Some components of this well-knit episode in the sleazy NYC night-life don't keep in touch, though. The movie veers toward describing Eve's mental break-down over her push-and-pull personality, and Nancy/Ann increasingly becomes an afterthought in the script (albeit the best, most self-aware performance in the whole spiel). Zach and Pearl make fine additions as supporting characters and motivations for Micky to skidoo, but some sequences between two or three…
Pretty dated at times. But in a sleazy, glorious way. Rudolph's directorial and visual style is not very original. But the person he is copying from is Robert Altman and really, can one complain too much if someone's visual style is Altman-esque?
The script is great, funny, elliptical and interesting and the visuals are beautiful (if, as I said, not original). Plus you have a pretty fine cast of character actors (Keith Carradine, Lesley Anne Warren, Genevive Bujold, Patrick Bauchau, John Larroquette) all of whom I always say about "I wish they were in more films." Carradine and Warren in particular were wonderful.