Watch Last Call at Murray's
- 1 hr 38 min
Last Call at Murray's is a charming comedy-drama that follows the lives of a group of regulars at Murray's bar, a neighborhood watering hole in a fictitious city. The film is directed by Linda Palmer, with a screenplay by Brian Beatty and with an impressive cast that features Michael Gross, John Savage, and Paula Jai Parker. The story is set within a single night and covers a range of perspectives of the characters, providing insight into their past and present struggles. Sam (Michael Gross) is the owner of Murray's, a bar that has been around for a long time, but he is struggling to keep it open due to financial difficulties. His best friend and regular patron, Frank (John Savage), is an aging man, who is secretly falling in love with the bartender, C.J. (Rachel Alig). The young and beautiful C.J. is intrigued by Frank, but is struggling with her own problems, including a rocky relationship with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, the other regulars have their own issues to deal with, such as an ex-con searching for redemption, a couple on the verge of a break-up, and a salesman trying to sell his wares to locals.
The film masterfully weaves multiple storylines, all where nothing really happens, but everything is happening. The pace is slow and deliberate, allowing each character's story to be told in a tangle of conversations that seem at first mundane but quickly reveal more of what makes these people worth our time. Palmer's expert direction and Beatty's skillful screenplay make every conversation count, painting a vivid picture of the characters' inner lives.
The theme of Last Call at Murray's is loneliness, and the inability to connect with others, at least not in the way that we all hope to. Each character's story arc showcases the different ways in which people attempt to overcome that loneliness, whether it be through love, friendship, or something else entirely. The film doesn't provide easy answers, nor does it judge its characters harshly, instead, it lends a sympathetic ear like a warm glass of whiskey.
The performances are exceptional, with each actor bringing nuance and depth to their roles, making us care about these people as if they were our friends. Michael Gross is especially excellent as Sam, the gruff and sometimes hard-edged proprietor of the bar, whose love for Murray's is only equaled by his loyalty to his customers. John Savage plays Frank, and we can sympathize with his struggles as an aging man trying to chase a long-lost dream, and the chemistry between him and Rachel Alig as C.J. provides a lively spark that is both touching and funny.
Paula Jai Parker is impressive as well as Delores, who sees the bar as a family she may not have had. She is a comforting presence, providing support and advice to those that she sees struggling. With her wisdom, she almost becomes a maternal figure and one that the other characters come to confide in.
Overall, Last Call at Murray's is a pleasant surprise, a poignant character study that looks at the fragile connections that tie us all together. It is a honest, poignant celebration of a din after which the lights will go off, and the patrons will stumble home, a little drunk but a little less alone. It is a portrait of a community that is slowly disappearing, where people come not just for a drink but for a place to belong. The film will take its place in the pantheon of warm bar comedies, each with its own signature character, reminding us to never underestimate the human need for community, love, and support.
Last Call at Murray's is a 2017 romance movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.