I've had my share of all-nighters, and sure, some of them were for a perfectly legitimate reason like studying, but I'll be honest with you: most of them were for reasons that for the sake of propriety, I shouldn't go into here -- and I know I'm not the only one. Who doesn't have a story about that one great night? Or that one party that couldn't be missed? Exactly, we all do, and maybe that's why we all love a good story about some wild and crazy all-nighter.
This Friday, audiences will be treated to another tale full of all-night shenanigans with I Love You, Beth Cooper, which follows a high school nobody who changes everything when he utters those five words during his graduation speech. So just like every 'all-nighter' film to go before it, Cooper is about breaking out of your comfort zone and watching the best laid plans go to waste -- and usually our hero or heroine gets to fall in love along the way. So with that in mind, let's take a look back at seven other films that are about our search for a good time.
1. The Allnighter
Well, you can't have a list about all-nighters without including this 80's turkey starring The Bangles' lead singer, Susanna Hoffs. Even Joan Cusack (the patron saint of 80's comedy) couldn't save this story about a group of girls looking for a good time on their last night before graduation. The Allnighter was written and directed by Hoff's mom, and was meant to be the singer's big break into acting. Unfortunately for her, the film was so bad that not only did it fail at the box office, it managed to turn the gal off from ever pursuing a film career at all.
After the jump: find out which other all-nighter flicks made the list...
If you remember your high school years, then I'm sure you remember having to partake in the epic teenage ritual known as 'The Quest for Booze'. It's a rite of passage for every kid under the age of 21 (or 19 if you happen to live in my part of the world), and the basis for the second installment on our list, Superbad. Michael Cera and Jonah Hill play two teens whose evening consists of misguided attempts to get alcohol, an all-night adventure with cops in the midst of a mid-life crisis, and of course, a little bit of teenage love. By the time their night is over, the two have learned a few lessons about themselves and their friendship, and it's almost kind of sweet -- even with all of those di*k jokes.
3. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
Before Kal Penn was working in the White House he was Kumar, a smart-ass stoner who spends an eventful evening with his friend Harold on a quest for an elusive White Castle burger. Of course, in the world of the all-nighter, things are never quite that simple, and comic misadventures are par for the course. But by the time you throw in some appearances from Fred Willard, Anthony Anderson, and the one and only Neil Patrick Harris (in one of the best cameos ever committed to film) you've got a pot-head classic.
4. Dazed and Confused
Here's the thing about Dazed and Confused: in 1976 I was baby, so it's not like I have my own Watergate-era experiences to draw from when I watch this film. But for some reason, every time I watch Richard Linklater's ode to high school ennui it takes me back to my high school days and nights (some 20 years later) where the end of a school year meant tooling around in my friend's cars, trying not to get carded for beer, and parties out on the 'moon tower' (or in my case, the Dead Beach -- don't ask). Linklater captures the perfect laid back party vibe that to this day will make you want to set up a keg and listen to classic rock until the sun comes up.
5. License to Drive
In 1988, The Corey's (better known as Corey Feldman and Corey Haim) were at the top of their game -- and the stories of substance abuse and failed music careers weren't even on the horizon for these teen idols. Drive was the story of Les Anderson's (played by Haim) desperate attempts to get his driver's license and the girl of his dreams (played by Heather Graham and aptly named, Mercedes) in the same day. Of course, I don't have to tell you that it doesn't quite work out as planned for Les, and before the night is done he has trashed his grandad's Cadillac, but more importantly, he wins the girl.
6. Thank God It's Friday
This 1978 'classic' was the story of the patrons and staff on a fictional L.A. disco called The Zoo on a Friday night, and was one of the many flops to come out of Barry Gordy's Motown Productions. Granted, this flick is terrible, but don't let that scare you off this campy masterpiece starring Donna Summer, with early appearances by Jeff Goldblum as a sleazy club owner, and Debra Winger as a good girl who's fresh off the 'turnip truck'.
7. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
OK, this movie was a little too cute for it's own good, and there were portions that looked like an infomercial for the LES, but there is still plenty to like about this story of two baby hipsters falling in love. What really saves the movie from becoming one long commercial for NYC are the performances by Michael Cera (who was the only actor to score two entries on this list) and Kat Dennings as two teens destined for each other through their love of an obscure band. But I can't forget to mention the gal that brings them all together (who's also my favorite thing about this whole movie): the AWOL drunk chick expertly played by Ari Graynor.
So there you have it -- seven films about the ups and downs of an all-nighter, and the great part about all of these movies is that they are a reminder that sometimes maybe it's for the best to fly by the seat of your pants and get a little reckless, because it could just be be the greatest night of your life.
Now I'll turn it over to you: list some of your favorite all-nighter flicks in the comments below...