Directed by Tony Montana
and Mark Brian Smith
DVD reviewed by Ian Dawe
| Roger Waters once sang, "Give any one species too much
rope and they'll fuck it up." Although more succinct and less
poetic than the Albert Goldman quote that ends this fascinating
documentary, it is an adequate way to describe the story it tells.
Troy Duffy, the star and subject of this film, went from a struggling
bartender from Boston to a film mogul in little over six months.
He took slightly longer to lose everything and alienate everyone,
but the seeds of his demise were present early, if this film is
to be believed, and the story proceeds with tragedy of almost
Duffy was offered $250 000 by Harvey Weinstein, Chairman of Miramax
Films, and possibly the most powerful man in Hollywood, for his
edgy script titled The Boondock Saints. He and his rock
band get the opportunity to write and perform the soundtrack for
the movie, a feat (to hear Duffy tell it) unprecedented in Hollywood
and sure to lead them to fame and fortune. For Duffy and those
around him, including his band, this opportunity is quite probably
more than they can handle.
Duffy is clearly possessed of an ego of Herculean proportions,
but is this unprecedented in Hollywood? In business? In music?
In politics? Orson Welles (of whom I was reminded repeatedly through
this film) alienated and irritated as many people in his younger
years as he drew to his talent and artistic energy. The difference
between Welles and Duffy is one of talent only, not of bravura
The documentary clearly tracks the rise of Duffy, his celebrations,
and his quick fall, the key to which seems to be driving away
his most important ally, Miramax. Duffy initially blames a middle
manager at the company for the disintegration of his dream deal,
but he clearly makes the situation worse by publicly and repeatedly
taking the name of Weinstein in vain - an unforgivable sin in
Hollywood circles. At one point, a distributor is asked how much
of a voice Harvey Weinstein has in the entertainment industry.
She replies simply, "He is the voice."
After a few months, the band has broken up, Duffy has spent all
the money he received on his two film deals (after Miramax passed,
the film was picked up and produced by a smaller company) and
the film is a complete flop. Along the way, he has alienated his
family, his friends and his business partners. The film is a fascinating
study in self-destruction, but as the final Goldman quote suggests,
it wasn't fame that changed the bartender into a self-absorbed
egomaniac. Those impulses seem fully in place from the very beginning.
Fame only let them out, like, in Goldman's words, "a kind of truth
As a DVD, Overnight is a fairly routine affair, with a
couple of minor deleted scenes proving the major extra feature.
A two-for package with The Boondock Saints is a doubtful
proposition (although it would make an interesting double feature),
but it would be the most logical way to market these two films
- twins separated at birth.
freelance writer and longtime film enthusiast, Ian
Dawe is now completing a Master's Degree in Film History.
He currently teaches at Selkirk College in Castlegar, British