on November 10, 2004 by Susan Green
Shakespeare would probably have loved Troy Duffy, a commoner elevated to entertainment royalty until his blinding ambition loses him the throne. In the fascinating "Overnight," director/cinematographer Mark Brian Smith chronicles this tragicomic arc as a cautionary tale for aspiring young filmmakers in the cultural kingdom. By a fortuitous act of fate, he and producer/co-editor Tony Montana began shooting footage of Duffy's 1997 ascent from bartender to crown prince of the American Dream, Hollywood-style. The documentarians stuck with it for several more years, despite off-with-their-heads threats, to witness the well-deserved denouement.

Duffy, lead guitarist in a band from Massachusetts called The Brood, had moved to California to pursue his self-described childhood plan to conquer the world. Miramax options his screenplay, "The Boondock Saints." Moreover, he's asked to direct the project (now a cult favorite in video stores) and The Brood is promised a chance to perform the soundtrack. A publicity blitz with headlines such as "Filmland's Newest Find" is reason for celebration, which Duffy and his good-ol'-boy buddies do by drinking themselves into oblivion.

The guy's already outsized ego knows no bounds. "We deserve every ounce of recognition we get," he proclaims, while hobnobbing with agents and celebrities. Before long, the bragging has mushroomed: One boast, "I surpassed everyone and got to the top," echoes the Bard's most delusional literary tyrants. But praising his band for its "deep cesspool of creativity" does not really say much for Duffy's intellect. He also remains arrogant when Miramax executives stop returning his calls. Although the showbiz sharks are ferocious, it's difficult to feel much compassion for someone whose middle name must be Hubris and who should have heeded the line from "Macbeth" that's a warning to all megalomaniacs: "Have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?" Starring Troy Duffy, Taylor Duffy, Jeffrey Baxter, Billy Connolly and Willem Dafoe. Directed by Mark Brian Smith. Produced by Tony Montana. A Thinkfilm release. Documentary. Rated R for pervasive strong language, sexual references and some nudity. Running time: 85 min

Tags: No Tags

read all Reviews »