Overnight (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Producer-Directors Mark Brian Smith and Tony Montana tell the story of Troy Duffy, a 25 year-old bouncer bartender from the East coast. He was chosen by Harvey Weinstein of Miramax to direct his script, entitled The Boondock Saints and given a $15 million budget. He also had a band and was to perform all the music in the film.

Overnight documents his ascension to Hollywood wunderkind and his plummet to oblivion as Weinstein dumps him and he finds himself blacklisted. Smith and Montana shot 350 hours of footage and hundreds of stills over four years, from 1996-2000. They visited Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Washington, Washington D.C., Canada, France, and Mexico. We see some real actors. Apparently Willem Dafoe starred in The Boondock Saints. Mark Wahlberg is shown talking about Troy, however inarticulately.

Duffy comes across as a profane bully. In one scene he’s driving with his mother and comments on a film they had both seen, telling her, “It’s a good thing he killed that c___suck__.” How many of us would use that word to our mothers? He has an unusual way of expressing himself, like, “We’re in a deep cesspool of creativity.”  One thing I like about him, though, is the low opinion he expresses for Ethan Hawke.

There are some great lines. One producer, commenting on Duffy’s band, says, “They still have to learn a little bit about the craft.”

We’re shown some of his team wanting some money. Montana tells him, “You say, ‘You work hard now and get paid later,’ but I’m out of money now and need it.” Duffy is unimpressed and says he doesn’t deserve any money.

We never see anything that Duffy produces. We don’t see any scenes; we don’t hear any music. At one point he admits, “The game has changed. Now we’re in an area where we have to produce.”

I don’t think that Duffy realizes how funny some of his statements are. We are not shown why Weinstein withdrew his support, but Duffy is shown as a becoming a terrible martinet. Probably Duffy's abrasive personality did him in. The film is brutally frank. Only 81 minutes long, I found it entertaining, sometimes funny, but probably a fairly accurate depiction of how things can go in Hollywood.

Susan Waxman of the Washington Post sums up Duffy’s career. Basically, she says, Weinstein said, “I made you; you don’t appreciate it; F___ You.”

November 15, 2004

The End