Justin Sellers, a twenty-two year old college senior attends the funeral of old friend Daniel Andrews, whom he hasn't seen since freshman year.


He recognizes another old friend, Martin Cron, who remained best friends with the deceased classmate. Justin conspires with his roommate Sam Prescott and former friends Robert Warden and Jim Vogel to take Martin to Las Vegas the weekend before graduation to help him get over the pain.


Tensions arise on the way to Las Vegas and, once there, Justin is unsuccessful in getting them to all go out that evening. Later, they manage to meet at a casino bar where it is revealed that Jim has dropped out of school after failing an acting class.


Desperate to have some fun, Robert and Jim hitch a ride to a brothel outside Las Vegas. The excursion is a disaster, highlighted by a nightmarish encounter with an overeager prostitute. They are robbed of all possessions and hitchhike back to Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Justin, Sam and Martin go to a nightclub where Justin meets the girl of his dreams, Marci, while her friend, Amy, puts Sam in a compromising situation. Sam rejects her aggressive advances, and she stalks off, taking Marci with her. Justin ignores Martin's suggestion that he go after Marci.

Robert and Jim return to the hotel where they reunite with their friends. Out by the pool, Robert is challenged by the others about his overconfidence and he reveals his deep insecurities. Touched by his honesty, the others open up, revealing aspects of themselves which they have kept hidden. With a new sense of optimism, all five head out to spend one last great night in Las Vegas together, but it is cut short by an argument between Robert and Jim, who walks off.

The remaining four get a last drink in a bar when they notice a group of security guards running through the casino. In a nearby ballroom, they find a drunken Jim throwing chairs and cursing the nervous security guards. Not threatened by security's warning not to enter, the four guys walk into the ballroom. When Jim sees them, he begins passionately reciting Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." Finally, Jim has succeeded in doing what he ultimately loves. The four take Jim off the stage and lead him outside, where they scream and laugh in relief.

The group readies the van for the ride home. Justin, however, hesitates for a moment, then bids farewell to his friends. They understand that he can't let Marci slip away.

Justin heads toward Marci's hotel room. Outside her room, he struggles with what to say when she opens the door. As the screen fades to black, we hear the sound of knocking.


PRODUCTION NOTES

Format: 35mm
Length: 105 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85

Sound: Dolby SR
Optical Soundtrack
Principal Photography: May 1999
Film Completion: January 2000

 

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