Overnight

***1/2

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

If someone tells you that you're getting too big for your boots, check out this documentary. Let it be a warning to those who aspire to greatness; never, ever end up like Troy Duffy. Be realistic, level-headed and, most of all, nice.

"Who is Troy Duffy?" I hear you ask. Well, over seven years ago, Harvey Weinstein (the boss at Miramax), bought his script of The Boondock Saints, attached the inexperienced, clueless Duffy to direct and produce the soundtrack and even bought the bar he worked in. The story of Duffy's overnight success quickly became an urban legend.

His true personality quickly surfaced: arrogant, bull-headed and incompetent.

Obviously it wasn't intended to be this way. Duffy hired a couple of documentary makers, one of them worryingly called Tony Montana - SAY HELLO TO MY LEETLE FRIEND - to follow him around to make sure his overnight success was recorded to the last detail. The end result is this movie. Seven years of hell. And all for what?

Now working in anonymity and ignominy, Duffy is trying to get a sequel to Boondock Saints off the ground. Maybe this time he'll not be such an asshole. By asshole I mean there's no other word to describe his behaviour even before the cameras started to role.

He's an absolute monster, with the most foul mouth in the world. Dude Lebowski, Eminem and Dolemite would be appalled beyond comprehension. There's no excuse for someone so wet behind the ears and new in Hollywood to be so vicious and mean to everyone he meets. He even calls Kenneth Brannagh the C word. Surely, Frankenstein wasn't that bad.

When it all falls apart and Miramax dumps him, things go from bad to the worst of the worst. No one will touch him. Even when his film miraculously goes into production, no studio will take it and it premiers in a tiny cinema where it plays for just over a week. A career in music with his pals quickly disintegrates not long after, as their debut album only sells 690 copies.

What this film doesn't address is why EXACTLY Miramax dumped him. Was he an asshole because he was dumped? Or was he dumped because he was an asshole?

Boondock Saints does have a strong cult following, so I'm puzzled at the playing down of this fact and the focus on Troy's attitude. As much as Weinstein is portrayed as some sort of megalomaniacal Hollywood tyrant, you'll be siding with him forever after just one five-minute glimpse at Troy Duffy's personality.

The documentary is a bit biased, though. After the hell they went though, Duffy's friends are reduced to manual labour and remedial jobs after a chance at the big time. Yes, he screwed them. But what really became of the guy? And why is there no retrospective interview?

For a look at how full of shit and moronic the movie industry is, forget any self-referential satire like The Player, or State And Main. Watch this. And be horrified.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2004
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How to be the next big thing in Hollwood and screw up.
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Iain Macleod ***

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EIFF 2004

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