Tuesday, October 27, 2009

364) Overnight (2003)

364) Overnight (2003) Dir: Tony Montana and Mark Brian Smith Date Released: November 2004 Date Seen: October 27, 2009 Rating: 3.75/5

While the initial reasons for making Overnight might not be so objective, the impulse to provide a dialectical presentation of Boston-born enfant terrible Troy Duffy, director of the pompous cult hit The Boondock Saints, winningly persists throughout the film. Filmmakers and former Duffy colleagues Tony Montana and Mark Brian Smith waver between condemning their subject, the egomaniacal loudmouth, and pitying him, the man who let his pride speak when he should've just played ball with the people that made him very famous, very quickly. This conflicted worldview is best expressed at film's end, when a quote from a Hollywood insider, who claimed that success only brings out what's already there in someone, is juxtaposed with footage of Duffy jumping into a swimming pool. You can't condemn Duffy as he's represented in that amateurishly idealized snapshot, no matter how much the film's skeins of condemning footage may make you want to.

Thankfully, as amateurish as Montana and Smith's tendency to sentimentalize Duffy may be considering how tellingly ugly footage of him telling off his band-mates and best buddies is, its a necessary means of making the film more than a one-note hit job. In striving to have their cake and eat it, Smith and Montana capitalize on the wealth of footage that they diligently collected and provide Overnight with the dollop of complexity it needs to feel like a telling character study and not a perversely long reality show pilot.

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