Back in the summer I bought the Martin Scorsese Collection, containing the Special Edition of Goodfellas along with four of his other films (Who's That Knocking On My Door, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Mean Streets and After Hours). I just only got around to watching After Hours.
After Hours is kind of a rarity among Scorsese's films. It's a comedy. But a dark comedy. Griffin Dunne (An American Werewolf In London) plays Paul, a word processor in 80s New York who one evening in a diner meets a girl, gets her phone number, later calls her up, goes to her place, and so the crazy adventures of one night in New York begin. It's a comedy of errors. You know, like mistaking tattoos for horrific scarring. Or finding out that your bartender is the boyfriend of the girl you just tried to sleep with. Or being accused of being a burglar. It's really a pretty charming little movie. More modest in scale than some of Scorsese's recent fare, but still entertaining and enjoyable.
Despite what is often the case in comedies - which I often find to be drably filmed and lacking in the visual department - Scorsese's strength as a visual director still manages to shine through (it's no accident he nabbed the Best Director award at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival for this one). An early scene in a cab reminds me of the kind of manic chases through New York in Scorsese's own Bringing Out the Dead in 1999. He doesn't allow his camera to be lazy, but at the same time he's not being flashy and the script and characters really carry the film.
All in all it was an enjoyable watch, from what I had originally pegged would be the worst of five films in the collection. Now I'm wondering if Scorsese can even make a bad film? Not that I've seen. But I still need to see New York, New York...