The new movie Date Night, in which Steve Carell and Tina Fey star as a suburban couple haplessly stuck in the middle of some sort of crime spree for an evening's time, is the latest installment in the grand tradition of "up-all-night" movies. To commemorate the occasion, I've pulled together my favorite cult classics of the underappreciated genre and listed them here. Feel free to peruse and then promptly tell me all of the ones I forgot.
I respect an evil genius who puts his MENSA abilities to use creating a stereotypes-only scavenger hunt. This movie is also special for being one of the very few that has ever made me think L.A. looked like awesome fun. Mini-golf! The Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery! Chubby twins on scooters! And no one got lost in the La Brea tar pits like I did once when I was a kid!
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Finally, a stoner movie made for a wider audience than just stoners. Ironic fast-food chain foodies, fans of naked Chris Meloni, people who enjoy NPH's incomparable hitchhiking work, and directionally-challenged cheetah enthusiasts alike enjoyed this movie. And hang gliders? Forget about it. They won't shut up about this thing.
From Dusk 'Til Dawn
You know how strip joints are -- they totally bleed you dry (sorry). But you know what's really great about this movie, aside from all the vampire strippers? Quentin Tarantino's acting. He played a deranged killer, and everybody bought it. It was the first and last time his acting wasn't unremittingly grating, and we got some great gore out of it, too.
Adventures in Babysitting
She got the children exposed to rampant discussions of infidelity, shoot-outs, forced jazz club performances and car thieves, and one of the kids ended up dangling out of a window by a rope, but Elisabeth Shue was still a better babysitter than I ever was.
Very romantic, very '90s, very Richard Linklater, and a perfect portrait of Ethan Hawke before he started fighting the hot. Not much happens in it, but still this movie is what every American hopes their European adventures are like, but never are.
Worst. Party. Ever. The Statue of Liberty's head crashes it uninvited, and eventually you have to walk five miles in the subway just to end up exploding at Bloomingdale's, or, if you're lucky, being eaten alive in Central Park as the sun comes up. Bet it was a cash bar, too.
Dazed and Confused
Another Linklater one (the guy needs to lay off the caffeine and sleep sometimes), the brilliance of Dazed and Confused is its simplicity: it's just a bunch of high school seniors in the 70s trying to smoke weed and get laid and impress a High School Harry version of Matthew McConaughey. And what's more universal than that?
Griffin Dunne had two great all-nighter movies -- this one and Who's That Girl?, but we prefer the one with Cheech and Chong as burglars than the one where Dunne had to babysit a wacky Madonna and her pet cougar.
The 25th Hour
An underrated movie for both director Spike Lee and star Edward Norton, 25th Hour explores what an ordinary man would do with his final day of freedom before beginning a seven-year prison sentence. He would spend the majority of the day seeking out Russian mobsters to find out how to avoid being raped in prison, is what he would do, by the way. In case you were wondering.
Discuss your favorites below, and read our dating guide to New York City!