Exceptional, wondrous, entertaining and awe-inspiring are but a few words I can muster in describing Night Club, a film produced and directed by Sam Borowski, written by Larry Delrose and Tom Hass and starring a great cast of characters. This is a great and joyful film; an inspiration to the youth and the elderly alike.
The plot revolves around three USC students who begin jobs at an elderly home to help pay for college. After a rough two weeks of training, they are assigned the night shift, where they meet a great variety of elderly inhabitants of the home. They find themselves surprised when they discover many great souls amongst them, including Albert, a man of former great ventures at his club who now brings up the idea to craft great parties to keep the spirit of the residents alive.
Borowski’s film features many loving homages to films of the 1980s including Night Shift. There are a variety of scenes including the opening titles that follow a hearse through the streets of LA and one that features the director himself reconstructing a Ron Howard cameo from the aforementioned Night Shift, where he portrays a man kissing his girlfriend outside a party.
The music of the film envelops you into the feel of classic 1980s film and plants you back into the time while regaining the modern day feel of life. Classic songs included in the film also act as an homage to films like Night Shift and Beverly Hills Cop. Borowski has certainly chosen the right soundtrack here.
Leading an all star cast is Academy Award® Winner and SAG Life Achievement Award Recipient Ernest Borgnine portraying the elderly Albert, a former night club owner who basks in his former glories. Borgnine is top notch in his acting with a youthful and intelligent performance. Mickey Rooney provides a bout of humor as Jerry, Albert’s roommate who constantly battles with remaining on his bed.
The cast is a blast from the past that includes Daniel Roebuck (in his sixth outing with director Sam Borowski) as Frank, a rude orderly who finds distaste in the elderly, Paul Sorvino in a small appearance as himself, Sally Kellerman as Dorothy, an elderly woman with dementia and Rance Howard as Chuck, who always carries with him a trademark cowboy hat and a variety of other great actors and actresses.
The younger cast is led by Zachary Abel as Justin, Ahney Her as Nikki and Bryan Williams as Chris. The three are students at USC, working the night shift at the elderly home. They soon discover that aside from jobs to help pay for their future in life, their hearts are affected by the thoughts and creativity of the elderly. The three all are terrific young actors and each give a grand performance here.
Madison Liddy portrays the beautiful granddaughter of Kellerman’s Dorothy, who sparks a light of love in Abel’s Justin. She is a great addition to the cast and is a great light in Justin’s life.
Last but not least, the beautiful Natasha Lyonne portrays the supervisor of the nursing home. A woman who is an obsessive-compulsive and eccentric leader, she understands little of the residents’ needs and tends to usher that “State Law” is the reasoning behind some of her more misguided decisions.
The light shines bright with Borgnine and Kellerman, who are due for Oscar Buzz in their great performances. I found myself laughing and feeling sorrow for these characters in their times of grace, joy and pain. After the film’s theatrical release, if Borgnine were to become a second-time Oscar winner, he’d be the oldest performer to bring one home.
The film moved along with splendid and great length. All of these scenes belong in the film as they only excel its majestic presentation and presents us with nothing less than a film of pure joy, love and inspiration. The moments of sorrow and tragedy strike hard…because you care about these characters. You care about their well-being and you care about how they strive in the world.
These characters feel as though they are family. They have the heart, courage and soul to earn the respect and love of the audience. I found myself grow attached to the film, yearning for every next moment.
In closing, the film has sold out screenings across the country during festival season, including the 500-seat Cine Capri Theater as the closing night film at the Phoenix Film Fesitval, and a spirited sell-out crowd at the Newport Beach Film Festival. This comes as no surprise with the shocking and joyful film that returns some of the heart to Hollywood and guides youth to greatness.
The film begins as a blow to your funny bone and ends in your heart. With Night Club, you will gain a respect and a care for your elders and an instinct to encourage the youth to become more like the younger characters in the film. We must look up to our elders in a manor of pure respect and care. We must treat them as we’d treat any young person. They are the same as us, human. One day, we all grow old and it is a fact of life, but would we want to be treated with disrespect? No.
Night Club is a beacon of inspiration to the youth of the world and with it, I advise you to take note and take a part of it into your life. Learn to grant kindness and aid to those of experience and age. Grant them the chance to show us their young hearts and souls and become friends with them. Borowski’s film has heart…and heart is a thing we are beginning to lose in the film industry. Night Club leads us on the path to redemption and I welcome you to the walk.
Review by Kale Slade