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Sunday, April 05, 2009

"Overnight" review

Overnight (2003)

Directors: Tony Montana Mark Brian Smith

Jeffrey Baxter ... Himself (as Jeffrey 'Skunk' Baxter)
Emmanuelle Béart ... Herself (archive footage)
Chris Brinker ... Himself
Jake Busey ... Himself
Gordon Clark... Himself
Billy Connolly ... Himself
Jim Crabbe ... Himself
Willem Dafoe ... Himself
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Himself
Marie Duffy ... Herself
Robert Duffy ... Himself
Tate Duffy ... Himself
Taylor Duffy ... Himself
Troy Duffy ... Himself
Tyson Duffy ... Himself
Cassian Elwes ... Himself
Sean Patrick Flanery ... Himself
Jason Flom ... Himself
John Goodman ... Himself
Shaun Hill ... Herself
Ramses Ishak ... Himself
Jimi Jackson ... Himself
Ron Jeremy ... Himself
Matthew Modine ... Himself
Tony Montana ... Himself
Mark Brian Smith... Himself
Patrick Swayze... Himself
Mark Wahlberg... Himself
Sharon Waxman... Herself
Harvey Weinstein... Himself (as Harvey)
John West... Himself
Billy Zane... Himself

"Overnight" is the tale of a battle between two bullies. One, (Harvey Weinstein, ex-Miramax kingpin), does battle with arrogant newcomer Troy Duffy. Duffy becomes famous overnight when Weinstein awards him fame and fortune for his script for "Boondock Saints". Not only does Weinstein buy the script, he also lets Duffy direct the movie. The Hollywood dream gets sweeter for Duffy when a record company wants to sign his band as well. And just to add a little extra magic to the fairy tale, Weinstein agrees to buy the bar he used to work at, (J. Sloans, now Villa), and let him run it. Could life get any better for Duffy? What could possibly go wrong?

Well, apparently everything. It doesn't take long for all of this success to rush to Duffy's head and turn him into one of the most insufferable jackasses you've ever had the displeasure of meeting. His friends get together to film the making of "Boondock Saints" but instead end up making a documentary of a man corrupted by his own out of control hubris. Most of the documentary focuses on Duffy giving dead serious speeches to his friends about how great he is. His friends have that glazed over look in their eyes as they subject themselves to his endless tirades. Soon most of Hollywood is sick of him too but Duffy doesn't seem to notice. He's too busy being in love with himself to care.

One of the cliches used to describe Hollywood is "It's high school with money". "Overnight" certainly lives up to that description. Weinstein was in love with Duffy at some point but soured on him quickly. After watching this documentary, it's not hard to see why. But apparently when Weinstein sours on you, the rest of Hollywood does too. Duffy tries to keep the momentum going for "Boondock Saints" but keeps running into obstacles. He thinks that Weinstein is out to get him and is blackballing him. The bigger bully won this fight.

"Overnight" is painful to watch. It is agony watching Duffy talk about how fantastic he is and how he is going to rule Hollywood. I had to pause the DVD many times so I could take a break from Duffy's arrogance. But "Overnight" gives a frightening close-up look at a rampaging ego that makes it worth watching. I wanted to feel a little sorry for the guy but I couldn't do it. He dug his own grave and jumped in. Was Duffy always this arrogant or was it just the initial success that changed him into this pompous jerk? It's mind boggling that this guy could treat his friends this way. It's even more mind boggling that he actually wanted to film himself doing it.

But what's even more bewildering about this movie is why would anyone be friends with Duffy in the first place? How did this guy make friends at all? He seems like he would be a good drinking buddy. A lot of the scenes in the movie take place in J. Sloans as Duffy gets hammered night after night. But the minute he sobers up he becomes unbearable. I also wonder why his friends decided to release this movie. I can only assume that they are now his ex-friends. I'm sure Duffy has plenty of those.

One last thought, I have seen "Boondock Saints" and I thought it was OK. My cousins loved that movie and demanded I watch it with them. I thought it was a fair crime movie but "Boondock Saints" has certainly found an audience on video and DVD so maybe there is something to be said about Duffy's skills as a writer/director. The IMDb tells me that there is a "Boondock Saints II" in the works. Will there be an "Overnight 2" to complement the eventual release? Let's hope that Duffy has learned his lesson and stays behind the camera from now on.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 Duffys

5 comments:

thebonebreaker said...

I too enjoyed Boondock Saints and am looking forward to the sequel - I have heard of this Documentary, but have never seen it. Sounds interesting. . .

Great Review Doc!

Erin said...

Oh my God I have watched this movie so many times, I'd have to say it is one of my comfort movies. Because I'm sick, all I can think through the whole thing is "why didn't someone get this guy some psychiatric help?" I even saw this before Boondock Saints and had to watch BS begrudglingly (it's pretty good, actually.) Nice to find another fan.

Dr. Gore (drgore@hotmail.com) said...

Erin,

His buddies didn't want to disturb the meal ticket so they let him rant his goodwill down the drain. I'm sure his friends, (and Duffy too), expected a happier ending than the one they got.

Egomaniacs like Duffy expect other people to treat every word out of their mouths like it's gold. They have no idea how out of touch from reality they are. All the success justified Duffy's opinion of himself. God-like, omnipotent, etc. No psychiatric help could talk him down from the ledge. He had to jump.

But glad that you find comfort in this trainwreck. We'll have to see how "Boondock Saints II" turns out to see the end of this overnight story.

BrownFedora said...

I begrudgingly sat through Boondock Saints (only so so, gets way over the top by 3rd act) just so I could watch "Overnight". I too had pause this film multiple times to get through it but I'm still captivated by it. It's incredible, disturbing, and sad to think egos like this exist. I mean, Hollywood is not stranger to big egos but those were from talented people who had already produced valid, appreciated art. Duffy hadn't even shot 1 frame of film and thought he was above Orson Wells.

As to the point of "why do Duffy's friends put up with him," a friend of mine pointed out it's a perfect example of a cult leader. He kept promising them money/heaven/a ride on the mothership so they go for it because in the beginning, it seemed pretty plausible. But as it slipped away, he made it a 'us vs. them' fight and manipulated thier friendship to side with him.

I do wander if Duffy has found any sense of humility after the experience (probably not). I love how the films notes although the BS has become a cult favorite on DVD, he did not get any of the royalty rights.

Dr. Gore (drgore@hotmail.com) said...

I still wonder what Hollywood saw in his script that started this Overnight feeding frenzy to begin with. "Boondock Saints" is a fair flick but I don't think it should have been treated like a gift from God. Clearly, Duffy thought he had blessed us all and screw anyone who disagreed.

We'd also have to listen to his band's album to get the full Duffy experience. Maybe I'd join the cult too. Well, probably not. I guess you have to give Duffy some credit for producing some Hollywood product fairly quickly. He also deserves some points for unknowingly creating this cautionary tale. We can learn and laugh, (and wince), from his disaster.