I loved this piece my friend Alex Gutierrez wrote about the structural changes the advent of cell phones have caused in our one-crazy-night movies. She says:
The “One Crazy Night” movie genre — which includes films like Can’t Hardly Wait, 200 Cigarettes, andSuperbad — is predicated on communication failure. In these films, the many members of the ensemble cast find it hard to reconnect once separated, hear inaccurate stories, and share crucial information too late. They’re comedies of errors where problems could easily be solved with a text message, and trust me, even William Shakespeare would struggle with this same problem writing his lighter (and even some of his darker) fare were he alive today.
I think she’s right about all of this. But I do think the fact that we’ve got a modest resurgence in one-crazy-night movies at all is the slightly more interesting point. Folks who were, say, 21 in 1985 are 46 today. If I were midst-recession, old enough to be seriously concerned about retirement and providing for my family, I’d wonder what it would be like to get a reset on my life, to find the right person, to find the right career, to save better, to apply the knowledge I have now. There’s no question that the nights can be crazier in the pre-cell phone age. But the fact that we need or want that kind of craziness speaks to a deeper emotional need, both by those of us who remember what it was like to be there, and those of us who never quite had the chance.