Overnight (15)

Directed by Tony Montanna and Mark Brian Smith
Showing at FACT 26th August - 1st September 2005

Reviewed by Kenn Taylor

Hollywood: where dreams come true, where a billionaire film executive can walk into a bar and agree to give the guy serving him $300,000 for his film script, allow him full directorial control with a $15 million budget, give all his friends jobs on the picture, allow his own band to record the soundtrack and even buy the bar for him. Too good to be true? You betcha.

Overnight is a cautionary tale of arrogance and getting lost in the allure of Hollywood. It is centred around Troy Duffy, who was offered all of the above by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on the basis of his script for ‘The Boondock Saints...and blew it. This documentary was filmed at the time by a couple of Troy’s mates (Smith and Montana), the idea was to show his rising success, instead they chart his downfall over seven years.

Beginning amid the celebrations and press hype surrounding the deal it becomes quickly apparent that the popular Troy never doubted for a second that this was his destiny and that he deserves everything coming to him. He is lauded with praise and hangs out with big name Hollywood actors desperate to bask in the glow of the edgy new boy in town, so the actual film making goes on the back-burner.

One by one Troy manages to alienate all around him with his arrogance, temper and control-freakery; from his friends and family to the big names in the industry he is trying to break into, Jerry Bruckheimer is an “idiot”, Kenneth Branagh a “cunt”. Tiring of his posturing, Miramax quietly walk away from the project but Troy is by now convinced that if they're not interested then someone else will surely recognise his own self-proclaimed “cesspool of creativity”.

Eventually an independent production of ‘The Boondock Saints’ limps out to no acclaim whatsoever and the debut album by Troy's band ‘The Brood’ manages to sell only 690 copies in six months. Their dreams shattered and friendships strained, the group that surrounded Troy return to their menial jobs, the only thing to show for the stress and hardship of the last few years being this documentary.

This is an interesting and sometimes entertaining film showing not only the dangers of ego-mania but also clearly displaying the cut-throat here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of Hollywood; one of the big questions in the documentary is after dropping Troy’s film did the all powerful Miramax make sure it failed or was it in fact just genuinely crap? Personally I felt a lot of sympathy for those around Troy who lost out, rather than hangers on most were friends or even family, working unpaid in the hope of achieving a dream with Troy only to be frozen out and abandoned. Though you can't help wondering if this bitterness might not have affected the way his former friends (the documentaries makers) portray Troy as the ego-maniac who brought about his own downfall.

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