A Night in Heaven
is a 1983 romance film
directed by John G. Avildsen
, starring Christopher Atkins
as a college student
and Lesley Ann Warren
professor. The screenplay is written by Joan Tewkesbury
. Film critic
widely panned the movie.
The original music score is composed by Jan
, and features two songs that would later be huge pop
re-released in 1985, would become Bryan
' first American number one song. An early version of the
" by its co-writers,
and Michael Des Barres
, would also be
re-released in 1985, and become the biggest hit for Animotion
Christopher Atkins plays Rick Monroe, a
jock and a popular guy in college in
Florida; he is outspoken and overconfident.
Ann Warren plays Faye Hanlon, Rick's speech professor; she is prim
and proper. At the end of his final report for his class, Rick
cracks a joke and Faye is not amused. She decides to fail him and
make him take the course over again.
Faye is going through a slump in her marriage to Whitney (Robert
Logan), a rocket scientist who has just lost his job. Faye's
free-spirited sister Patsy, visiting from out of town, takes her to
a strip club
to cheer her up. The show
features a performer called "Ricky the Rocket," who is none other
than Faye's student Rick. When he notices Faye in the crowd, he
gives her a very special lap dance
The next day, Faye and Rick run into each other at a school
function. Initially, Rick is interested only in convincing Faye to
allow him another chance at his final and is rebuffed. He realizes
that she is attracted to him and begins flirting.
Faye arranges to meet Patsy near her hotel, only to discover that
she has been tricked into seeing another performance by "Ricky the
Patsy must return home a day early, so she turns over use of her
hotel room to Faye, who calls Whitney and lies that she and Patsy
are staying at Patsy's hotel together. Coincidentally, Rick's
mother works in the same hotel, and while visiting his mother, Rick
runs into Faye again; they return to Faye's room and have sex. Faye
must leave and in her absence, Rick invites his girlfriend Slick to
the room where they have sex. Faye catches them in the shower and,
humiliated, flees; she realizes that she's been had.
Whitney, returning home from an unsuccessful job interview,
discovers that Patsy has gone home. Whitney travels to the hotel
and catches Rick as he's exiting. Whitney kidnaps
Rick at gunpoint; he takes Rick to a boat
at a small dock and forces him to strip. Rick, sobbing, complies.
Whitney threatens Rick repeatedly but in the end only shoots holes
in the boat, leaving a naked Rick aboard as it sinks.
Faye returns home to find Whitney waiting for her; she apologizes
and he forgives her. At the end, the couple talk about their
problems and resolve them.
When Chris signed on to play Rick Monroe, there was no actual
nudity written in the movie (aside from scenes in the male
stripclub). In one scene where Warren and Atkins' characters have
sex, she rubs his crotch and pulls his pants down and then the
camera is supposed to move away, but that day, Chris was not
wearing any underwear and his slightly aroused penis popped out
accidentally. It was only when the director sat down to edit that
day's work that he noticed this. He thought it might add a new
dimension to the scene and really show off the intimacy between the
two lead characters and decided to keep it. Atkins was not informed
about this, and he came to know only when he watched the
pre-release, but nothing could be done at that time as the movie
prints had already been distributed
to the theatres.
found it a "very confusing
movie" that "introduces several themes and relationships, and asks
some big questions", but "doesn't pay off on any of them." Vincent Canby
of The New York Times
film, writing, "all boredom breaks loose."
Awards and nominations
Atkins won the 1983 Golden
for Worst Actor.