It seems that back in 1974 Frank Sinatra caused a bit of a scene when he upset a lot of people during a tour of Australia, I wasn't even two at the time so this event has passed me by until now as I found myself watching "The Night We Called It a Day" also known in come countries as "All the Way". Unfortunately having watched "The Night We Called It a Day" I can't say I am any the wiser about what happened back in 1974 or entertained for giving up 97 minutes of my time. The trouble is that "The Night We Called It a Day" doesn't seem to know what it is, it starts off on the typical Aussie comedy route as the opening scene introduces us to a shaggy haired Rod Blue but then seems to have a crisis of conscience as it cuts back on the comedy and replaces it with, well with nothing other than some romantic subplots. It makes "The Night We Called It a Day" a surprisingly dull movie which considering it stars Dennis Hopper, Mel Griffiths, Joel Edgerton and various other well known names and faces is a bit of a shame.
Aussie promoter Rod Blue (Joel Edgerton - Ned Kelly) stakes everything he has and plenty he doesn't on getting Frank Sinatra (Dennis Hopper - Ticker) to do a tour of Australia and some how he pulls it off. But as soon as Frank and girlfriend Barbara Marx (Melanie Griffith) touch down in Australia they cause controversy especially when journalist Hilary Hunter (Portia de Rossi) accuses Frank of spitting on her and to make matters worse during a concert he calls her a two-bit hooker. Union leader Bob Hawke (David Field) decides to take action and by calling out the unions holds Frank prisoner in his hotel room till he apologises.
"The Night We Called It a Day" starts of in a typical Aussie comedy manner with a scene where we meet Rod Blue, standing on his balcony in just pants as he tries to charm Frank's secretary over the phone in America. It is amusing because Joel Edgerton looks and acts amusing in a surf bum, wheeler dealer sort of way. But whilst we get more comedy the tone of the movie shifts as the typical, even expected humour drifts away. We do get a playful scene as knowing that Dennis Hopper is playing Frank Sinatra we are toyed with as we wait to see what he will look like but that is as entertaining it gets.
Unfortunately what happens after that is a mostly uneventful dramatization of the notorious tour of Australia which occasionaly finds room for a joke, be it about Frank's wigs or an outrageous homage to "The Godfather". In fact the focus almost shifts away from the events of the tour and on to the relationships as Frank and Barbara reconnect as they are stuck in their hotel room whilst we have the troubled romance between Rod and assistant Audrey. It makes it surprisingly dull as it is sort of unsure of who it is trying to be enteraining for.
As for the acting, well Dennis Hopper was simply wrong as Sinatra and fails to recreate the charisma of the great entertainer, it almost feels like they got him in order to secure some attention. Thankfully Joel Edgerton is more entertaining as Rod Blue but even then he struggles because his character goes from humorous to ordinary. As for the rest of the cast well Mel Griffiths, Rose Byrne and Portia de Rossi are all solid but their characters end up incredibly ordinary.
What this all boils down to is that "The Night We Called It a Day" ends up surprisingly dull as it doesn't know what it is, a drama or a comedy. It sort of reminded me of "Hear My Song" but no where as near as good.