It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
I've rarely seen a movie with more interior evidence of compromise than "A Night in Heaven." You can sit in this brief, unsatisfying feature. and put your finger on the places where important scenes are missing. Afterward, you can ask a lot of questions that the movie should have answered.
Let's start at the beginning. The original screenplay for "A Night in Heaven" was written by Joan Tewkesbury, who wrote Robert Altman's "Nashville." For both films, her method was the same. She spent a month living in the places she'd be writing about, to plug the local color into her basic themes.
For this movie, she visited a new phenomenon -- those naughty discos where the strippers are all men and the customers are all women. We've seen the dancers interviewed on "Donahue," we've read the articles in Psychology Today, and now here's the movie. The film is about a sexually frustrated wife (Lesley Ann Warren), her husband (Robert Logan, who was the father in all those "Wilderness Family" movies), and a young student (Christopher Atkins) in the speech class Warren teaches at the local junior college.
A lot of things happen at once. The husband quits his job as an engineer at the Kennedy Space Center because he refuses to work on missiles or other instruments of war. He becomes too "tired" to sleep with his wife, whose sister takes her to Heaven, a male disco in a shopping center. And, wouldn't you know, the handsome young student is a dancer there, and in a scene of considerable erotic effectiveness, he flirts with her and kisses her.