Late Night Shopping (2001) - Synopsis

late night shopping - synopsis header

SEAN (Luke de Woolfson) does nights as a hospital porter while VINCENT (James Lance), finds his career as a supermarket shelf stacker ideal - all he wants is to clock off, wait for pay day and enjoy his hobbies. Women! Mild mannered LENNY (Enzo Cilenti) is the voice of directory enquires, JODY (Kate Ashfield) an electronics factory worker.

This night, as per usual, SEAN, VINCENT, JODY and LENNY sit around killing time, drinking endless cups of frothy coffee. SEAN grumbles to the others of his frustrating situation. He works nights but his girlfriend works days. After a big argument he hasn't seen her for three weeks. He's not even sure if she still lives with him. But SEAN has something, or someone else on his mind. At work, he's met SUSIE, an intriguing visitor to the hospital.

Later, at the local supermarket, VINCENT is stacking shelves but counting minutes, dreaming of nubile girls. He explains to his co-worker JOE that his unbeatable pulling power with women is due to his watch, which had once, he claims, belonged to Errol Flynn.

It's graveyard shift at the hospital. SEAN, caught spying on the mysterious SUSIE, is introduced to DAVID, a young man in a coma, SUSIE'S boyfriend.

VINCENT spying a new 'hobby' at the cafe, sidles over. MADELINE can't face going home and is seeking refuge in the café, drowning her sorrows in hot chocolate. Later that night, back at her flat, VINCENT makes the startling discovery that she is SEAN's girlfriend, but goes ahead regardless.

At their usual table in the café, SEAN tells JODY that he's going to sort out the situation. Tonight he's going home early to face up to his girlfriend and tell her he loves her. Jokingly, JODY reckons that one of two things has stiffened his resolve, either a soppy radio tune or he had been unfaithful. Shamefacedly SEAN admits to the latter. SUSIE!

LENNY too has something to get off his chest. Pretending to be a flash businessman, he's been making calls to a girl at work, GAIL and has even asked her out for drink tonight. VINCENT'S advice is simple," Walk away. "

GAIL sits and waits in a bar as arranged. Her blind date is already here, but watching her from several tables away. VINCENT, arriving unexpectedly, finds LENNY and offers to show him how it's done. He confidently strides up to the first girl he sees. Unfortunately it turns out to be GAIL. Realising that he has again hurt a friend, he turns back towards LENNY'S table to find it empty.

Later, back at the supermarket, VINCENT's co-worker collapses and dies. He accompanies the lifeless body to the hospital where SEAN, halfway through another shift, is surprised to bump into him. Genuinely shaken, VINCENT tells SEAN about the death and also confesses to sleeping with his girlfriend. VINCENT'S spluttered excuses make no impact - SEAN'S punch does.

SEAN finds that MADELINE has clearly left their flat and is prompted into action. Accompanied by JODY and LENNY, they decide to search for MADELINE at a seaside town. As they head out of the city, they spot a familiar figure by the side of the road. Its VINCENT, desperate to make amends. The heavy price he has to pay is his Errol Flynn watch.

SEAN and JODY discuss strategy over milkshakes at the local café. VINCENT and LENNY opt for crazy golf. At the course, MADELINE and another girl walk towards them. LENNY recognises the other as GAIL from the call centre. VINCENT' s cool evaporates and the truth comes out:

MADELINE discovers VINCENT is a friend of SEAN. GAIL recognises VINCENT from her blind date experience. MADELINE runs off as SEAN approaches.

JODY has a chance to play Cupid as she points both MADELINE and SEAN towards the pier, one after the other. Once there and forced into angry confrontation, it looks as if their relationship cannot be salvaged. MADELINE insists they document their new status as ex girlfriend and boyfriend in a public photobooth. But as the lights flash for the final picture, they kiss.

Meanwhile, VINCENT's attempts to find a new 'hobby' fail. Has the Errol Flynn magic now gone, along with the watch?

As night begins to fall, SEAN, MADELINE, JODY, GAIL and VINCENT sit silently in the back of LENNY'S car, drawn back towards the familiar city lights.