Sony // 2011 // 80 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // August 12th, 2012
A single night. A million possibilities. One connection.
Two rock bands arrive at their festival at the same time and, for some reason, start fighting with each other. Suddenly, a preacher arrives on a golf cart to break up the situation and, in a real dick move, handcuffs the two lead singers together and makes a run for it into the crowd. Now, with both of their gigs coming up, Adam (Luke Treadaway, Attack the Block) and Morella (Natalia Tena, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) must find a way to either get out of the cuffs or learn to like each other.
Tonight You're Mine is an ambitious movie, if not a very good one. It's manipulative to its core and completely unoriginal in its plotting, using every possible romcom convention and avoiding any kind of logic to get to the bland, obvious heart of the story. As soon as the pair is locked together, there is never any doubt about the twists and turns the story will take. If you take the acrimonious style of Hepburn and Tracy, mix it with The Defiant Ones, but instead of race relations, make it about rock and roll solidarity, you basically have a handle on how Tonight You're Mine plays out.
The writing is poor, no doubt, but director David Mackenzie (Young Adam) and company deserve credit for a lot of things about Tonight You're Mine, including plain having the guts to try to make it. Filmed on location at the massive annual T in the Park Festival in Scotland in 2010, this small crew of filmmakers and about a dozen actors took to the sprawling mass of humanity, a hundred thousand unpaid and uncontrollable extras, and actually made something coherent. That's madness and, as little as the story is worth, it's pretty cool that they made it work.
The movie looks good, too. As we learn from the main featurette on the disc, much of this has to do with the fact that the cameraman used the Red 1 camera, but held it on his shoulder for the entire shoot, or four sixteen hour days. That's a lot of weight for a long time, but it gives the movie a really nice sharpness while still maintaining the liveliness that one would hope to find in a rock and roll movie.
The performances, as well, keep the awful story from sinking the movie. Luke Treadaway and Natalia Tena, herself a working musician as well as an actress, have really good chemistry together, starting at odds and working toward love. Both are very likable and the other actors make a good supporting group. Had the story been anything else, this might have been something I could actually support, but it's so poor that, in spite of strong performances, a good production, and a nice rock and roll spirit, I'll never touch this movie again.
Tonight You're Mine comes to DVD from Sony in a decent package. The 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer looks quite good, with solid clarity that's about as good as you find in SD transfers these days. The colors are a little washed-out, but that's a clear stylistic choice, and the black levels aren't always the best, but there's not much to complain about here. The surround track is even better, with a mix that is nice and full in all the channels. The dialog is constantly clear and it's especially strong during the multiple on-stage performances. The extras are limited to a series of short featurettes. One is general and runs about fifteen minutes, giving a solid amount of information about the production and, especially, the challenges that come with this kind of endeavor. The other three run about another fifteen minutes total, and repeat a lot of the same information.
The manipulations in the story make me really mad, but ultimately, I can't totally hate Tonight You're Mine. The mere fact of how it was made makes it worth watching and the performers are pretty likable, to boot. It's more of a curiosity than quality entertainment, but there's nothing wrong with a curiosity once in a while.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Official Site