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Best Night Ever: 15 Comedies That Cram In All The Action Before Sunrise

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    Movies play pretty fast and loose with the concept of time. While we have our butts glued to our seats (doing nothing) for two-plus hours, they often like to remind us that weeks' worth of outlandish events could happen to someone over the course of one night.

    Action and horror movies are the best at compressing lifetimes of horrible things into the hours of darkness. When a comedy tries to do the same, it requires a much more delightful brand of suspension of disbelief. How much trouble will our heroes and heroines get into? How crazy will this party get?

    This Friday's release of The Night Before proudly enters the grand tradition of all-in-one-night adventures. It's got all the elements we love crammed into a single evening: a pretty straightforward plan for the night, copious means of intoxication, good friends, exes, chance encounters with famous new friends, potential disasters and maybe even some life-altering realisations. It is missing the light-hearted murder and/or alien invasion of some of its predecessors in the genre, but a good Miley Cyrus cameo can make up for a lot.

    Take a look back at these other momentous, and momentously funny, nights we love.

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    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
    The Evening's Plans:
    Janet (Susan Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick) want to visit their old science teacher to tell him they're engaged.

    What Actually Happens:
    A flat tire, a trip to a mysterious castle, the creation of life, lots of sexual experimentation with unexpected partners, a murder, cannibalism and an alien invasion.

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    1 of 15

    Sixteen Candles (1984)
    The Evening's Plans:
    A school dance on Samantha's (Molly Ringwald) birthday, the night before her sister's wedding.

    What Actually Happens:
    Some awful nerd dancing; an underwear exhibition; a wild, house-wrecking party; major jock-nerd bonding; the breakup of the school's main couple; and a Rolls-Royce-wrecking make-out sesh between the queen bee and a freshman nerd.

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    After Hours (1985)
    The Evening's Plans:
    A date at the home of a nice woman (Rosanna Arquette) whom Paul (Griffin Dunne) just met at a diner.

    What Actually Happens: A freak loss of cash, a suicide, attempted Mohawk shaving, mistaken identity, a Mister Softee truck chase, and imprisonment in Plaster of Paris.

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    Clue (1985)
    The Evening's Plans:
    A dinner party at a remote New England mansion with a mysterious host, Mr. Boddy, who just happens to be blackmailing all his guests.

    What Actually Happens:
    The murder of Mr. Boddy, his cook, his maid, a cop, a stranded motorist, and a singing telegram, while the guests and the butler (Tim Curry) all try to figure out which one of them is the killer.

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    Dazed and Confused (1993)
    The Evening's Plans:
    Kicking off summer vacation 1976 with a kegger at someone's house.

    What Actually Happens:
    In place of said parentally cancelled party, the kids commence cruising the town, bashing mailboxes, getting royally spanked, hanging out a the pool hall, making new friends and hookups across classes, smoking a lot of pot, philosophising about sticking it to the man after smoking a lot of pot and partying out under the open sky.