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Saturday Night Life (2006)

The film captures an uplifting night in the life of a desperate single mother.


Ava DuVernay


Ava DuVernay


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SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE centers on a young African-American woman who suddenly finds herself single with three children. Devastated and alone, she decides to defy her depression on a starry Saturday night. As the city of Los Angeles hums with energy, she embarks on a trip to the local discount grocery store in an attempt to lighten her mood and entertain her kids. As the evening unfolds, she journeys closer to her children and deeper inside herself. Based on the true story of the filmmaker's mother's experiences. Written by dvaintern

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You Never Know When You're Making A Memory


Short | Drama







Release Date:

22 June 2006 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$13,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The DuVernay Agency See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


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User Reviews

Touching Look at a Night Out
20 September 2011 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Saturday Night Life (2006)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

A depressed, struggling single mother takes her three children out for the night. That's pretty much the only "plot" you need to know about this film because if you were to know anything else several small bits would be ruined. I can't say I had ever heard of this film before I came across it on one of those Showtime stations but it turned out to be quite entertaining. At just 12-minutes the film moves along at a nice pace but what I was impressed with most is how writer/director Ava DuVernay managed to make the thing so touching. There were several moments in the film where I wasn't really sure where the movie was going. There's an admirer that keeps walking around and there's another sequence where a stranger walks up to the mother just to tell her how great of a job she's doing. In today's time I found it quite hard to believe that a stranger would just walk up to someone like this but the scene works extremely well as does the ending. Melissa De Sousa and James Black are both very good in their roles even with the limited dialogue. I think a few things could have improved the film including leaving the song off the picture as this really adds nothing and instead it doesn't allow us to connect with the characters until after it's over. It's also rather refreshing to see a story aimed at black audiences that isn't full of negative stereotypes. Not perfect but certainly well-made and worth watching.

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