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The Night Before
Directed by Thom Eberhardt
Produced by Marty Hornstein
Written by Thom Eberhardt
Gregory Scherick
Starring Keanu Reeves
Lori Loughlin
Music by Mark Davis
Distributed by Kings Road Entertainment
Release date(s) April 15, 1988
Language English

The Night Before is a 1988 film starring Keanu Reeves and Lori Loughlin. Reeves plays Winston Connelly, the so-called high school nerd and vice president of the Astronomy club. Loughlin plays Tara Mitchell, the pretty and popular head cheerleader who also happens to be the local police chief's daughter. The Tagline was: "You lost your father's car. Sold your prom date. And a guy named 'Tito' wants you dead." It was filmed and set entirely in Los Angeles, California.

Plot summary

The storyline is told through a series of flashbacks. The movie opens with Winston regaining consciousness in an alley in the middle of the night with no idea of how he got there.

Through a series of flashbacks, he remembers that he was waylaid on his way to the prom the night before. In the meantime, he has to figure out what happened to his wallet, his car keys, his prom date, and why a pimp named "Tito" wants him dead.

After losing a bet on a football game, Tara has to go to prom with the flattered but clueless Winston. In the hijinks that follow, Winston manages to get them lost in the ghetto, befriend a hooker named Rhonda (Theresa Saldana), and accidentally sell Tara to a diminutive pimp named Tito (Trinidad Silva). Winston spends the remainder of the evening searching for Tara whilst seeking to avoid Tito's wrath after Tito discovers the identity of Tara's father. In the end, Winston gets the girl, escapes from the pimp and even recovers his dad's car from a car thief named "Danny Boy."

A genre precursor to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, this movie showcases Reeves in a similar comedic role. Although a little known movie, the cast and humorous story line make it the quintessential 1980s date movie. It features an imaginative ensemble cast which include a cameo of George Clinton's P-Funk All Stars.

Set entirely in Los Angeles, the movie also stereotypically depicts the differences between suburban Southern California (where the hero and heroine are from) and East L.A. (where the teens get lost). As a romantic comedy, the movie is also unusual in its non-stop gag sequence of events, with less emphasis on sentimental lulls or tender moments. In fact, Winston and Tara do not share a kiss until the movie's very last scene, and do not really become aware of their mutual feelings until the last 10 minutes of the film.

The movie also depicts Winston's coming of age, who learns to be comfortable outside his sheltered suburban environment and emerges as more of a "man" in Tara's eyes than she otherwise would have expected. Aside from Reeves, Loughlin, Saldana and Silva, Michael Greene provides a strong acting performance as Tara's gun toting police chief dad, who insists on a midnight curfew.

DVD set to be released on April 14th, 2009 as part of Liongate's "The Lost Collection"1

Trivia

  • The movie proved to be one of Trinidad Silva's last roles, as he was killed in a car accident not long after the film's release.
  • Dylan McDermott auditioned for the Winston Connelly role.

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