I’m back with another SCENE RECREATION like the ones we did before with LA LA LAND and BEFORE SUNRISE. This time, it’s a fun scene from an iconic buddy-comedy movie from the 80s, MIDNIGHT RUN.
I was very late to the Midnight Run game, I’ll have to admit. I’d always seen it on various critic and magazine lists early in my career and was confused. This was 2015-ish, so it’s around the time that Robert De Niro was starring in comedies that nobody was laughing at. So I saw these lists and I was like ‘whaaaa?’ a Robert De Niro movie that was funny when he was younger and more serious?? I didn’t even know who Charles Grodin was at the time. I thought, great, De Niro and some nobody. It can’t be that funny.
Another reason why I never watched it was because it wasn’t available to watch anywhere! And then, streaming came around. And still, it wasn’t available! Until TWO YEARS AGO glorious HBO Max had it available during the pandemic. (For my money, HBO Max is the best streaming platform based on content available. One just hopes they figure out their always-buffering situation. Oh, and we also hope that they’re not being stripped for parts as we speak.) I was home for a couple months, and my mom and I ended almost every night with a different movie. So I told her, we HAVE to watch this. It’s got De Niro..this other guy, and it’s supposed to be really funny. She was skeptical herself (I’ve taught her well) but we put it on and let me tell you
WE HAD A BLAST. Such an 80s movie, so much fun, so much hijinks. De Niro was actually funny! And Charles Grodin was a revelation. His monotone delivery sticks with me till this day.
So ANYWAY, it had been a long time since we’d done a scene recreation for lots of reasons. Well, mainly just two reasons. We shot a comedy short film over the course of 4 months (writing and shooting), and I was home for 2 months in the summer for #weddingszn. But now we’re back at it! Working with one of my oldest friends in Los Angeles, the glorious Wes Selby. We took improv together 6 years ago and we’ve been in touch ever since. We always have so much fun when we work together and so when I saw him recently I told him we should make one of these things. We settled on this scene in part because Wes had never seen the movie and didn’t want to watch it until we finished filming it.
We rehearsed this ONE TIME before we shot it. ONE TIME. And then we rehearsed it one more time on the day of shooting but that’s basically it. Super quick turn-around time made possible because of the skills of Wes and our cinematographer Quinn Hester, the ultimate collaborator.
Here is our scene re-creation of MIDNIGHT RUN!
And here is the scene from the original!