What Happened Was... 1994 R

Amazon Instant Video

(7) IMDb 7.1/10

Co-workers in a large Manhattan law firm, Jackie and Michael meet outside the office for a Friday night first-date at Jackie's apartment, an evening that moves through awkardly hilarious small talk to searing emotional revelation.

Starring:
Tom Noonan, Karen Sillas
Runtime:
1 hour 31 minutes

What Happened Was...

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Romance, Comedy
Director Tom Noonan
Starring Tom Noonan, Karen Sillas
Studio Sundance Institute and Film Festival
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Pam Kent on August 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Jackie and Michael are on a first date. Jackie is a secretary in a law firm and Michael works as a paralegal in the same firm. The entire film takes place in Jackie's Manhattan apartment.
There is never a "true" comfortable moment on this date. These are two people who haven't dated in awhile and the discomfort is evident on their faces, in their body language, and in some of the bizarre comments that come out of their mouths.
Michael seems to feel the need to say things that demonstrate his superiority over Jackie. Jackie has mistakenly perceived Michael to be confident and is certain that he is in the process of writing a book -- she sees him take notes at work and he even pulls out a little notebook and takes a note during their date. She likes who she thinks he is but Michael isn't one to believe, easily, that he is liked.
The film feels almost like a play -- with the added benefit of closeups of their facial expressions. So much more of the drama occurs there than in their words (at least, until the end). The colors in the film are rich, dark -- solid, primary colors -- mainly blues and reds that soften a bit in intensity as the emotion increases.
Their conversation often takes opposite directions from each other -- Michael saying goofy, offbeat things (some are lies in an attempt to live up to Jackie's errant perception of him) -- and Jackie saying things and moving in ways intended to "seduce" (though awkwardly). And the conversation threads through a meal that Jackie has prepared and the consumption of one bottle after another of increasingly potent drinks.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Daniel M. Hobbs on June 29, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Noonan and Sillas, pushing mid-life and on a first date, are so real, it's painful to watch. But if you appreciate excellent acting and character-driven drama, this movie is a must-see.

Someone, please, release this film on DVD so it doesn't disappear to tape rot! Forget the bells and whistles, the extra features - just put this on DVD, please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Platek on December 8, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
I'm very surprised this movie hasn't been release on dvd. Many of the reviews already written do a good job of explaining the movie. I would only add that to me the movie is about two lonely people each with their own illusions, about themselves and the other, which are shattered within the small confines of a dimly lit studio apartment.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
It may not seem that the awkwardness of a first date between typically lonely New York City coworkers would hold much interest, but Tom Noonan's film has enough twists and turns to make it memorable. His writing and directing are incisive and original, but his greatest coup was the casting of Karen Sillas as the offbeat law office secretary whose seemingly mundane life masks some uncomfortable secrets. Sillas, an indie film favorite, is one of the best actresses in films today; the power of her performance as it builds in nuance and intensity must be seen to be believed. The movie will definitely make you think twice about having a first date in a 'neutral' (and public) location. Highly recommended. END
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