Once upon a time there was a guy named Troy Duffy. The year was 1997, and Duffy was on top of the world. Miramax bought the rights to his movie The Boondock Saints and wanted him to direct. Miramax's Harvey Weinstein even bought the bar that Duffy worked in, and became co-owner with him as part of the deal. Stars were lining up to be in the film, and his band, The Brood got a recording contract and would provide the soundtrack to the film. Then the world came crashing down around him, and Duffy faded into obscurity just as quickly as he rose to stardom. Overnight is a cautionary tale about the excesses of ego and stardom in Hollywood. The amazing thing is that directors Tony Montana and Mark Brian Smith film such an unlikable person in Duffy that the viewer actually roots for him to loose. This film has all the fascination of a train wreck.
The first impression one gets of Duffy is that he's a jerk, and there is nothing in Overnight that refutes this. He has delusions of grandeur, always talking about how great his movie is, how great his band is, and how he's going to do things that nobody ever did before. Plus, it's great that he screwed everybody by jumping to the head of the line, and he was able to do this because he is such a genius. Now, it's important to note that Duffy is all talk. He's always talking about how good he is, but he very rarely does anything concrete like recording music or shooting film. When something goes wrong (as it so often did), he is quick to blame everybody around him except himself. It's never his fault, and instead, he lashes out at people, alleging broad conspiracy theories or the fact that the companies he is working with are afraid of his intellect.
Hollywood revolves around relationships. Duffy is not a relationship type person. He is the alpha male that is fun to drink in a bar with, but annoying in nearly every other situation. This type of personality is necessary, but only to a point. He managed to alienate everybody around him (even the directors), especially Weinstein, a large power broker in Hollywood. When nobody picked up his film after Cannes, Duffy believed that Weinstein told all the other studios not to buy it. This is plausible. Smith even alleges that if Weinstein wanted to buy the film, he would just buy it and shelve it (Prozac Nation anybody?). Instead, the real reason was that the Hollywood community saw what an ass Duffy was, and decided they didn't want to work with him. The only way that somebody like Duffy will have acceptance in Hollywood is if he has a body of work that backs up his genius. Remember, Duffy has no work to speak of. And his penchant for playing guitar shirtless or in overalls likens him to a hillbilly.
Duffy's self-aggrandizing does get a little tiring, but Smith and Montana make it worthwhile by showing how far he falls. The Boondock Saints was eventually released, and ravaged by critics. Supposedly it was going okay on video, and the two directors provide an excellent coda on this aspect. It would have been nice to see more on the actual filming of Boondock. They have footage of Billy Connolly saying good things, but Willem Dafoe is silent, as are the other stars. The other key point to remember is that while Montana and Smith were friends of Duffy, he did screw them on profits for The Brood's signing deal, so they do have a bone to pick with him. But it's hard to imagine them needing to doctor or pick and choose footage of somebody as vain and egotistical as Duffy.
|Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.|
|1 hour, 22 minutes, Rated R for pervasive strong language, sexual references, and some nudity.|
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