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Hi Life

A movie directed by Roger Hedden

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Silent Night.....Bleary Night

  • Jul 4, 2000
Pros: go ahead, laugh

Cons: too much going on in a short time span

Slap-stick meets love story, confusion reigns! I'm not a slap-sticker so I don't know if I will be able to pull this one off, besides it is very confusing.

Eric Stoltz - brother of Daryl Hannah, boyfriend of Moira Kelly
Campbell Scott - brother of Moira Kelly, ex-boyfriend of Daryl Hannah, barkeep at Hi-Life
Charles Durning aka Fatty - another barkeep, undercover bookie (undercover from wife..lol)
Peter Riegert - local mob-type guy, friend of Durning, buddy to Stoltz
Katrin Cartlidge - local drunk, has hots for Campbell Scott
Anne DeSalvo - Fatty's wife, friend of Saundra Santiago
Saundra Santiago - girlfriend of Peter Riegert, mother of Carlo Alban
Carlo Alban - kid caught in middle
Dean Cameron - Jewish Santa (yep, ya read right)
Bruce MacVittie & Tucker Smith - EMS men that somehow play the part of thugs for Durning (never did figure that one out)

The Action?
Stoltz owes Durning $900 for a mis-handled bet. He goes to Kelly and says he needs the money for Hannah, who is pregnant and needs an abortion. Kelly, meanwhile, goes to Scott, saying SHE is pregnant, knowing he wouldn't give her the money if he knew it was for Hannah. Durning calls Riegert and tells him to escort Stoltz around until Stoltz comes up with the jingle. Not trusting either Riegert nor Stoltz to follow through, he sends the EMS guys on Stoltz's trail. They end up at the apartment of Kelly, who joins them on their quest.

Now, in the second part of the story (it is all so convoluted), Fatty's wife gets a call from Santiago telling her that her son, Alban, is missing. We catch a shot of Alban getting a gun from under a mattress, but emptying the bullets out. Alban meets up with Riegert and Stoltz on the street and attempts to rob them, but of course they have not scored the money yet. Little does Stoltz know, Alban is the son of Riegerts' girlfriend, and Riegert has enlisted his help to get the money from Stoltz and back to Durning. Running into them again later, assuming they have the money BY NOW, he attempts another robbery. Stoltz realizes it is all a set-up, grabs the gun, it goes off and shoots Riegert.

Story three - in the meantime, Scott is wandering around town with Cartlidge, trying to collect money for, he thinks, his sisters abortion. He runs into Hannah, on a date with another man, and leaves the restaurant. Cartlidge steps up to Hannah, explains Scott needs the money for Kelly's abortion, Hannah gets the money from her new boyfriend and starts out after Scott, going from bar to bar trying to find him. In the meantime, Scott blows off at Cartlidge for telling Hannah the problem and they split ways - both with longing looks over their shoulders. Somewhere around this time he ends up sharing drinks with Dean Cameron, while Cameron gives his theory on Christmas, children and Santaism - from the Jewish point of view (really hysterical scene).

Story four - Kelly and the EMS guys are driving all over town, trying to find Stoltz or Scott or any damn person they can.

Story five - yeah, they all end up eventually back at the old Hi-Life Bar & Grill with feathers flying. That's it.....all I'm telling ya. I'll end this segment with the statement by Katrin Cartlidge, who is usually too drunk to remember closing time ~ "Wow, I never realized how exciting closing time could be around here....."

My take on the whole she-bang?
Funny, funny, funny ...... The acting was superb, the scenes flowed well, the directing was stellar and the cinematography was top rate. Throw in the fact it was filmed with a Christmas motif so you have your gratuitous Christmas carols, with some really funny scenes with the carolers (is that spelled right?) and some hysterical Santa scenes. Well worth the watch.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


The Hi Life Bar is the center of the events that take place in this romantic comedy starring Eric Stoltz as the catalyst for a wacky chain reaction of events that begins when he lies to his girlfriend so that she will raise the cash to pay off his bookie. Moira Kelly, Campbell Scott, Karen Cartlidge, and Daryl Hannah also star.
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Director: Roger Hedden
Release Date: 1998
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Studio Home Entertainment (January 12, 1999)
Runtime: 1hr 33min
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