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You know when you get yourself into one of those uncomfortable situations
where several people are yelling at each other and you're stuck in the
middle feeling awkward? That is what watching this documentary felt
This is a documentary seven years in the making that focuses on an arrogant, naive and very stupid bartender named Troy Duffy. Back in 1997, he literally "overnight" became the latest "rags to riches" success story in Hollywood where his script "THE BOONDOCK SAINTS" was bought by Harvey Weinstein (of Miramax Pictures) and was given the green-light to direct his own feature and provide music from his band for the soundtrack. Harvey was also considering co-owning a bar in West Hollywood with him, and it seemed like everything that Troy had worked hard for his entire life was finally coming to fruition.
Well not really. He could have had it all, but like most stupid people, he wasn't satisfied with what he was given and he demanded more.
Unlike Terry Gilliam's almost-comical "LOST IN LA MANCHA" which was plagued with natural disasters, bad scheduling, bad production and bad luck, Troy Duffy played his own hand in sending his dream project into assured failure.
For Duffy, his biggest enemy was himself. Although this documentary tries to make out Harvey Weinstein as some sort of Hollywood tyrant (which apparently isn't that far from the truth), Duffy was the one who ultimately destroyed his own career and that of his fellow band-mates who were too intimidated to stand up to him and tell him that he was going all about it the wrong way.
First of all, Duffy's biggest problem is his attitude. It's BAD. He's one of those people who not only THINKS AND KNOWS that he is RIGHT, but certainly doesn't hold back any feelings when it comes to telling other people that they are wrong (even if they're not).
Watching Duffy mingle with D-list celebrities like Paul Rubens, Patrick Swayze, Jerry O'Connell and Mark Wahlberg was nothing more than deliciously amusing, showing both sides of the industry kissing serious ass.
Even for those who don't even know what this documentary is about, watching him destroy his dream and career is inevitable from the first few minutes when you get to explore his vulgar personality and character. He went into Hollywood with no idea and basically left barely any the wiser.
The people you feel most sorry for are his band-mates. Although they also had a part to play with the miserable launch of their so-called music career, watching Troy sink them as he tries to pull his imaginary strings in the music industry is a notch below humiliating, not to mention embarrassing.
The worst part was seeing him trade barbs with that slimy excuse of a man who headed the casting agency, watching them at the Cannes Film Festival revel in the value of the almighty dollar before getting any of their facts straight first.
When it said that their album had sold 690 copies in six months (yes you read correctly, 690), there were a few awkward laughs in the audience. I don't think anyone in the audience really knew what to make of Duffy's actions. I felt not only embarrassment for him, but also disgust. He has quite a mouth on him and is not afraid to use it. One scene in particular shows him mouthing off in front his mother (who doesn't seem to be the least bit phased by it), and another scene showing him screaming into the speaker-phone about accusations of being called a liar. Watching it will really make your skin crawl.
It's hard to say as to who the documentary was trying to prove who the bigger tyrant was - Duffy or Harvey Weinstein. After all, Harvey has the comfort and leisure of being that way as he is a self-made man. Duffy on the other hand isn't.
There is one bizarre scene in "OVERNIGHT" that seemed like it came out of nowhere. It involved the premiere of Duffy's movie at a tiny cinema and his 'attempted' hit-and-run with an automobile that occurred outside. It's almost as if they tried to imply that Harvey Weinstein had ordered a hit on him or something, which only made Duffy look even more stupid.
While the conclusion of the documentary shows that the only people who stood by him - his friends, the people he ended up alienating now working in construction or manual labor, you can't help but exit the screening with a bad taste in your mouth and ponder the idea as to whether he has learned anything from all of this.
There is no question as to whether Duffy has any talent - obviously he does as there seems to be a cult following to the movie "THE BOONDOCK SAINTS". However, whether he has learned anything from his experience in BOTH the music and film industry is doubtful. Time will tell with the release of his next project, a sequel to "THE BOONDOCK SAINTS".
My Rating - 9 out of 10
I saw this film at the San Diego Film Festival and consider myself extremely lucky to have seen it. The film chronicles the rise and crumble of Troy Duffy, temporary wunderkind. The film managed to capture the process of instant success and provide such a thorough window into one man's descent into his own ego. Duffy manages to ruin every single wonderful opportunity he is blessed with. He becomes a pariah in the film industry, a dirty word that even the munificent Harvey Weinstein won't touch. It is an incredibly intense, cringe-inducing film as you see Duffy unravel in front of the directors ever-present camera. Duffy uses the camera as confessional and it in turn captures his self-inflicted demise. It is a testament to the filmmakers ability that they managed to infuse the film with a palpable sense of pity for their subject. This film must be compulsory viewing for any filmmaker as a cautionary tale into the heart of hype, ego, and the fleeting love affair Hollywood has with the next big thing. Bravo gentlemen, you've made a great film.
This is a doc that makes you squirm in pain at what you see happening on the
screen-- no matter how you feel about the "Harvey" referenced repeatedly in
the film, Troy Duffy manages to make you take Harvey's side. That, in
itself, is a major accomplishment. There is no sugarcoating what you see on
the screen, no Moore-ish distortions, just Duffy managing to show the
viewers exactly what he is made of, and how he feels about himself, and
everyone else to boot.
A great documentary, well worth watching-- and when available, buying on DVD to keep on your shelf in case you need to remind yourself about "staying humble."
An interesting take on pain-- emotional pain-- on giving it, receiving it, and living through it. .
What these two filmmakers have managed to accomplish is nothing short of heroic. Duffy's arrogance, insecurity, and fear are so evident in the way he abuses himself and everyone around him, yet he's blind to it himself. No wonder he wears sunglasses all the time. What also struck me was the apparent mindlessness with which everyone just went along with his global bullying. That Smith and Montana manage to evoke even a tiny bit of sympathy for Duffy from some audience members is a tribute to their vision. I was one of the privileged 300 or so to see this in preview at the UCI Extension/Regal screening, and I say privileged because we also were treated to an hour of the filmmakers' time for candid discussion after viewing the film. I am in awe of their endurance, of their perseverance, of their solid commitment to bringing the project to fruition, of staying true to the story no matter how bizarre. Life is, indeed, often stranger than fiction. If these two ever do another project together, I want to be part of it in some small way, even if it's paying their grocery bill.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
1997. Miramax, scooping up Oscars and looking for the next big thing,
seemingly found it in a small bar in West Hollywood, J. Sloan's.
Pouring and knocking back drinks there is Troy Duffy, a blue-collar joe
from back East who came out to LA to knock doors down in the music and
And does he ever- his simultaneous ascension in film and music are the stuff of the latest legend; Miramax and New Line have a bidding war over the rights to his 'Pulp Fiction with soul' Irish vigilante story, THE BOONDOCK SAINTS.
Miramax's Harvey Weinstein looks to seal the deal with a monstrous payday, giving Duffy his first shot at directing, hiring his band to do the soundtrack, and even planning to buy the bar they work in for them to seal the deal. We can't believe his good fortune, nor can we believe what happens as Duffy starts throwing weight around he hasn't earned yet and burning bridges the moment he begins to cross them.
Mark Brian Smith and Tony Montana's documentary OVERNIGHT is the chronicle of Troy's rise and fall, taking his working-class Rat Pack (dubbed The Brood Syndicate) with him. The group consisted of Duffy, his brother Taylor and the rest of the band, and several others (including the documentarians). Duffy has energy, cajones, attitude and drive to spare and the filmmakers were there from day one to capture whatever he threw their way.
And there's apparently a lot of it, beginning with vows of shared riches and boasts of complete Hollywood domination, chased with enough booze to knock a mountain off its barstool. Eventually the only thing getting thrown are constant insults, threats, and promises which go up in smoke as Miramax puts the film into turnaround and stops taking Duffy's calls.
Troy strings the exasperated band members along as well as the filmmakers, who end up getting shut out of profits and hanging on endlessly for what they hope will be the pot of gold they've been told is just around the corner. The film eventually goes into production through indie financiers on a fraction of the original budget, making a boisterous premiere at Cannes only to be ignored by studio buyers. Eventually it gets a token release and is dumped to DVD. The band finally gets their deal and puts their first album out there..and manages to sell less than 1000 copies, quickly vanishing.
You know that feeling when you're stuck in a room during a biting argument and you freeze and just let it sink in? Overnight puts you in this spotlight often but is never less than fascinating. Though the film's incredibly well-structured and involving, and generates the requisite watching-a-car-wreck thrill, you'd be rooting for ANYONE'S downfall after screening select footage of them being a complete asshole for 80 minutes. I'm sure it isn't a complete smear job, but it's a bit too insular to be objective..the filmmakers are obviously not friends with this guy anymore; but given what we are shown on screen it's hard to come away on Duffy's side.
Who knows with these things what gets taken out to support a directorial agenda, but taken on its own, it's riveting to watch, and Duffy isn't doing himself any favors with scenes of tearing his new agents a new one on the phone, reneging on his financial promises to the filmmakers as they're losing their apartments, and putting down Boston film students who call him on his sour take on what's happened to him.
The final moments are squirm-inducing as we see how everyone ends up, particularly footage of the worn-down band members now living their dreams of manual labor, catering, supermarket checkout, etc.
It's not quite the rags to riches to rags story one goes in expecting, particularly if you're familiar with all of the outcome-Boondock Saints has grown a huge cult following since its release, which isn't mentioned-though Duffy has yet to work since then. Still it's a knockout cautionary tale, and a hell of a lesson in the benefits of occasional humility. And above all, if Harvey Weinstein hands you the keys to the kingdom, don't call him unprintable names on camera.
I gave this movie 9 of out 10 because it gave me great pleasure in the end to see the outcome and downfall of an arrogant, foul-mouthed, fat, dirty, self-centered fool. The other delight is knowing that his downfall is taped and recorded - every word, every damning phrase, every ridiculous self-centered comment all on tape for all to see and enjoy. I wonder if Duffy even has enough money now for a Blockbuster membership to rent this sad depiction of a very sad man - himself. He had everything - incredible luck, family, friends, tremendous support, talent (although this is only proved by his movie not his actions in the documentary) and several chances but he chose to crap all over every single one of them till he ended up sadly where he deserves - with no one, going no where and seeing no plausible way out of it. I would never wish ill on anyone but there is a sweet justice in seeing an arrogant, sad and vain fool get what he deserves in the end. Stacey Brooks, Atlanta, Georgia
If Bernardo Bertolucci, the director of TRAGEDY OF A RIDICULOUS MAN, had directed OVERNIGHT, he might have titled it COMEUPPANCE OF AN EGOTISTICAL MAN. That egotistical man is Troy Duffy, a bartender and aspiring screenwriter/director/musician from New England who became the star of his own real-life Cinderella story. THE BOONDOCK SAINTS, Duffy's original Boston-set script about two Irish brothers-turned-vigilantes, was bought by Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, who sweetened the deal by letting Duffy direct and score the film as well as buying Duffy's tavern. Alas, Duffy's cockiness proved to be outright arrogance as he began making demands before production began on either the film or the album, and this Cinderella Man's coach turned back into a pumpkin. Even Duffy's brother Taylor and his longtime friends come in for harsh treatment from the not-so-wunderkind, as he keeps expecting them to work their butts off despite their funds dwindling to the point that some of them are on the verge of being evicted. By the end of the film, almost all of The Brood Syndicate, as they call themselves, have gone back to the kind of manual labor jobs they thought they'd left behind once Miramax came calling, and Duffy is a Hollywood pariah. In addition to Duffy's egotism, his naïveté contributed to his downward spiral. Surely he'd spent enough time in L.A. at that point to have heard about Weinstein's tendency to snap up movie properties and then either put them in turnaround or leave them gathering dust on the shelf (didn't he ever pick up issues of VARIETY, THE Hollywood REPORTER, etc.?). Moreover, Mr. I Know More Than the Guys Who've Been in the Film Business for Years neglected to include broadcast and home video rights in his William Morris contract, so despite THE BOONDOCK SAINTS eventually overcoming its pitiful 5-theater release to become a cult favorite on home video, Duffy doesn't make a penny off it. Don't miss the Albert Goldman quote at the end about how fame doesn't change a person, but instead acts as a "truth drug" that reveals the person's true character. Granted, the directors of OVERNIGHT are two of Duffy's former friends from The Brood Syndicate, but they swear they actually left out footage that would have made Duffy look even worse. I suppose Duffy is lucky there isn't a Director's Cut of OVERNIGHT -- angry mobs would be chasing him down with flaming torches! :-)
When his script for action thriller The Boondock Saints got picked up
by Miramax, Troy Duffy found himself going very rapidly from an unknown
barman in West Hollywood to being the hot new property in the movie
business. Not only that but his agency manages to use this heat to
wrangle Duffy money for the sale of his script, the permission to
direct the film and a recording deal for his band to work on the
soundtrack; it is the dream opportunity presented to Duffy, his family
and friends and it is his to embrace or ruin.
Having not seen Boondock Saints for several years I have not been able to review it but I do recall that it was OK without being anything that special. What I didn't know at the time was the story behind the film, which is far more interesting than the film and serves as a good cautionary tale about the nature of fame and Hollywood politics. Well, I suppose it is actually more about Troy Duffy himself and is more a warning about how you have to play the game to get ahead. It is a fascinating and depressing tale because it shows Troy going from captain at the start, to immediately going below decks and scuppering his own ship. There is a quote at the end of the movie from Albert Goldman about how fame is a revealer rather than a creator and indeed that is true in this case. At the start Duffy is pretty full of himself and being made the centre of everything just makes this worse and he becomes more and more of an arrogant pr1ck who treats everyone around him like he is doing them a favour and they should be glad to be in his presence and this applies from Weinstein himself right down to Troy's bandmates. And this is the focus of the film one man's shocking ability to take a goose laying golden eggs and p1ssing it all away.
It is fascinating stuff and it is hard not to feel anything but sympathy for Duffy's friends, some of whom struggle to pay their rent while Troy pockets $300,000 for his script. That he immediately sets himself above them and refuses to give them a break in the same way he got one is a shocking condemnation of the man. I suppose it is interesting to think how we would react in the same situation but it was hard for me to imagine being such a jerk as was shown here. It could have been a stronger documentary by bringing more insight into the political games played within Hollywood or the wrangles behind every film, but in fairness Duffy is such an architect of his won downfall that Montana and Smith just seems to let their material do the talking.
Overall this is not a great documentary but it is a fascinating one. It could have been stronger in regards insight and comment but it is rare to see someone so completely destroy a brilliant opportunity simply by the power of their own arrogance. For this alone the film is well worth seeing and is engaging and interesting.
In 1997, Troy Duffy was dubbed the next big thing in Hollywood before
he even got a movie into production. Eight years later, he still only
has one film to his credit. "Overnight" follows Duffy's almost
unfathomable fall from grace, in such a way that it is nearly
impossible to turn away from the screen, making the viewer constantly
wonder what blunder Duffy will make next. What is shocking is not so
much that the script for the pretentious though passable film The
Boondock Saints generated such enormous hype, but that Duffy was able
to take an opportunity that every aspiring filmmaker and/or musician
dreams about and not just blow it, but obliterate it.
From the outset, Duffy is established as an aggressive, take charge individual which could have been a great asset for him if he knew where to draw the line. As the documentary progresses, Duffy's hubris comes to the forefront. He fancies himself as a businessman extraordinare and visionary that can't be bothered to listen to anyone else's opinion in any given situation. Brick by brick, he tears apart his potential career, and we get to see it every step of the way. In the end, his boorish behavior led to him being blacklisted from Hollywood, and his band's album sold so poorly that they were released from their recording contract soon after its release. In a final piece of irony Duffy, after making it known that he's smarter than everyone else, failed to secure any backend profit rights for video and DVD sales of Boondock Saints. The film, after barely being released in theaters, went on to produce strong sales in the home video market.
There is nothing more enjoyable than watching a very mean and terrible person getting what he deserves. It helps me get up in the morning that complete jerks like Troy Duffy get what they deserve. He is an egotistical under talented sexist intolerant moronic alcoholic piece of trash that I have no sympathy for. He clearly did it to himself. Although I have to say this film was not well put together and carried on on some subjects too long it was very entertaining. It is amazing to see how much Troy Duffy thinks of himself. He is a jerk to his whole family especially his brother. I really cannot believe he is trying to get back into the industry with Boondock Saints 2. Poof!
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