Overnight (Review)

Rarely has a making-of documentary prompted me to so strongly re-evaluate the original film itself and what it stands for quite so much as did Overnight. This fly-on-the-wall doc is a chronicle of the almost unbelievably fast rise and fall of writer/director Troy Duffy, a bartender who was selected by Miramax president Harvey Weinstein to direct and produce a multi-million-dollar film based on his own original script entitled The Boondock Saints, and ended up being blacklisted by every major studio in Hollywood. Beginning as a standard making-of doc, Overnight quickly becomes something much more: a revealing and often slanderous look at the private life of an egotistical, arrogant douchebag who is given the greatest opportunity imaginable and ends up alienating everyone around him and imploding his own career before it even begins.

It becomes quite apparent early on in the pre-production talks surrounding Saints that Duffy’s immediate rise to fame has gone to his head. He is seen burning bridges left and right, never realizing the consequences of his abrasive attitude and egotism until it is too late. He leverages his fame in the film world to get his (crappy) band a record deal with Atlantic, signing on for multiple albums including a soundtrack for the film. He then begins to loose sight of his main opportunity, snubbing those around him who aren’t in his band (including the doc-makers) by putting them down emotionally and withholding money from them, while the band rolls in cash from their record deal. Duffy is shown drinking heavily every night and making a complete ass of himself with the bandmates, while his film begins to slip through his fingers during the day. It is not long before Harvey Weinstein pulls out of the project, leaving Duffy without the help of Miramax (or any other major studio thanks to Harvey’s death-grip over the industry). From here we witness Duffy’s continued downfall as everything he had going for him falls through (even after he still makes the film!) and he refuses to realize that he is the one who is causing his own self-destruction.

In the end, Overnight isn’t an exceptionally enjoyable watch, mostly because of how irritating Duffy and some of his bandmates are. However, it chronicles one of the most unique rise-and-fall stories in the history of Hollywood, and serves as an incredibly powerful cautionary tale about the fickle nature of the film industry and the destructive power of excessive self-pride.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Overnight (2003, USA, R: 82min) Directors: Tony Montana and Mark Brian Smith.  Starring: Troy Duffy, his band and several members of his family, Tony Montana, Mark Brian Smith, various celebrities.

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~ by Mark D'Amico on July 4, 2011.

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