Late Night Shopping

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Late Night Shopping
Late night shopping2.jpg
Directed by Saul Metzstein
Produced by Angus Lamont
Written by Jack Lothian
Starring Luke de Woolfson
James Lance
Kate Ashfield
Enzo Cilenti
Music by Alex Heffes
Release dates
Running time
91 min.
Language English

Late Night Shopping (2001) is a comedy funded by FilmFour Productions. The film is about four young friends (Sean, Vincent, Jody and Lenny) who all work the graveyard shifts in various soul-killing jobs (the hospital, a supermarket, a factory and a call centre, respectively) then meet up in a cafe after their shift to talk about nothing and generally kill time.


Each of them has very little of a life, apart from their tedious jobs and meeting each other in the café. Sean hasn't met his girlfriend for three weeks and is beginning to wonder if she still lives in his apartment. Vincent is a womanizer who makes a rule of never seeing a girl more than three times. Lenny thinks of every woman he sees as a porn actress but can't even pluck up the courage to talk to a workmate that he wants to ask out for a date. Jody can't force herself to tell the other three that she was fired from her job, but still shows up after her "shift" every night to talk. Jody tries to convince Sean to go home early to see Madeline, but despite making it as far as the train station, Sean doesn't go home. Meanwhile Sean strikes up an unusual friendship with the girlfriend of a coma patient; she confides in him that at the time of the accident she was about to end their relationship. As Lenny confides in Vincent what he describes as 'porno reactions' Vincent spots an attractive young woman in the café, he talks to her and they return to her flat, while she is in the shower Lenny discovers she is Madeline, Sean's girlfriend. Meanwhile Sean and Lenny are in Lenny's car, they stop at a garage, Sean reveals his regret of letting what he describes as 'the fear' holding him back as a teenager and then as an adult. Madeline wakes up and realises what she did the night before and is full of regret. Sean and the coma victim's girlfriend have an encounter at the hospital. Sean confesses to Jody what has happened, the same night Vincent's colleague Joe has a heart attack after seeing the clock turn backwards, this proves to be fatal. Vincent goes to the hospital in the ambulance where Joe is taken, he crosses paths with Sean and in a moment of humanity he confesses to have slept with Madeline, Sean at first things this is Vincent's idea of a joke, then realises it isn't, this causes him to kick Vincent to the floor. He then returns to the flat he shares with Madeline to discover she has moved out. The telephone rings, the caller never speaks and then hangs up, Sean traces the call to find out where the call came from, and discovers it is a small town where Madeline's friend has an aunt. Sean tells the group he is going, Lenny and Jody insist on going. On the journey Jody insists on turning the radio on in the car despite Lenny's protests, the radio proves to be a metaphor for the characters lives as the soundtrack is to none of their tastes, cannot be switched off or changed. Lenny spots Vincent at the side of the road, Sean crushes Vincent's favourite possession, a watch that belonged to Errol Flynn. Unable to find Madeline the group gather in a cafe and Jody confesses that she lost her job. Vincent and Lenny leave to play crazy golf, Madeline and Gail appear and discover that Lenny and Vincent know each other, much to their confusion. Jody makes a reference to the lion, tin man and scarecrow reference. Sean leaves the cafe and Jody makes plans for when she returns to the city, Madeline appears in the cafe crying, Jody works out that the crying girl she has never seen before is Madeline, the next scene Jody appears in she is alone in the café, when Sean appears she tells him Madeline is waiting for him at the pier. Jody goes into the café toilets and asks the crying girl if she is Madeline, meanwhile Lenny, Madeline, Vincent and Gail play crazy golf. Sean walks to the pier but there is no sign of Madeline, but she soon appears having been told by Jody that Sean being there is a sign of how much he cares. Madeline and Sean confess to each other what they did, Madeline tells the reasons that she slept with Vincent and that she thinks their relationship has been ruined. On the way back the group stops at a motorway service station, Lenny shows Gail a sleight of hand trick, and later confesses to the group he has asked her out and been turned down, but this is still seen as progress. Madeline insists that Sean has photobooth pictures taken with her; they disagree over who should keep the flat, the final picture in the photobooth is of them kissing. The final scene takes place in a tunnel, the radio is on in the car and playing 'These Dreams' by Heart, Gail reaches for the stereo and changes it to a station playing Sunday Shining, a noticeably more upbeat song, the radio acts as a metaphor for the mood of the group once again, this time much more optimistic than before.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz references[edit]

The film makes implicit and explicit references to the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—the anxieties of the four friends can all be matched up to those of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion, plus Dorothy, who is the leader of the group. Much the same way as in the Wizard of Oz, they have to travel to a far-seeming destination (i.e. out of town, which seems like a long way for a townie) to overcome their anxieties. Jody also explicitly says, when out-of-town and in a cafeteria, that this all seems like the Wizard of Oz.


  • Late Night Shopping was largely filmed in Glasgow, Saltcoats and Ardrossan.[citation needed]
  • The exterior of the cafe that serves as the meeting point for the four friends is actually the Variety Bar on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. The interior was a set constructed in a disused factory in Paisley.[citation needed]
  • The cafe scene(s) in Littlehaven, were filmed in the Melbourne Cafe, Hamilton Street, Saltcoats
  • The crazy golf course was built for the movie, on top of the existing course at the promenade in Ardrossan.
  • The tunnel at the end of the film is the Clyde Tunnel. It passes under the River Clyde, the major river running through Glasgow.[citation needed]

External links[edit]