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|Index||46 reviews in total|
Very special movie about millennium love in L.A. It brought tears of both empathy and joy to my wife's eyes. Great date movie because the guys like it, too. Lots of spontaneous laughs from the audience, even without cue cards. Images of Sara Simmonds as Vivian, the female lead, may stay with you and even haunt you for a long time. The writer/director, Alex Holdridge, has created real life characters that we can relate to because they seem like real people. You also get a most interesting background story revealed in graphic images of old Los Angeles, including a visit inside buildings of the old theater district, whose musty stages are now dark and silent forever. See this movie. You won't be disappointed. Strap on your seat belt, though, because Vivian will take you on a "Looking for true love" ride that is different, fun, happy, sad, snappy, and in the end, most pleasurable. I look forward to director Alex Holdridge's next movie.
Can love be found in the sparkle of damp streets? A soft-focus moment
as desire is swept and sublimated into the tenderest kiss?
Do these scenes elicit warm memories for you? Or is it an emotional jack-off to a place you want to be in but can't?
In the last few days of each year, activity on sites like MySpace and Craigslist swells 300%. So many looking for love on New Year's Eve. Our ex-video-clerk (and award-winning film-maker), Alex Holdridge, has made them a movie. A dark, perverted, gritty, romantic comedy that, like a new relationship, comes with big indie warts-and-all. Then turns them around in an artsy, offbeat triumph.
Opening black-and-white photography of couples kissing exudes style. Tasteful snogging on sidewalks. Smooching by a river. Under neon. Christmas illuminations. Streetlights and shadows, and quiet corners. Sinatra croons "As Time Goes By" and a convenient voice-over says: "It's not just another kiss - it's all the hope of romance of the year culminating in just one moment."
But lets get real a minute. Our protagonist, love-luckless Wilson, is segueing the female half of one such scene into a private erotic fantasy. It features his best friend's girlfriend, Min. (Here the comedy plays to our discomfort). Determined to find him a life, Jacob and Min cajole him into placing an online dating ad. Vivian, neurotic blonde with openly cut-throat approach, soon 'interviews' Wilson as her potential New Year's Eve date.
Gutsy performances and shambolic production values keep Midnight Kiss rooted to some recognisable reality rather than the glossy romcom it could easily have become. Rambling dialogue is cringeworthy from the characters' awkwardness rather than lack of writing talent. What at first sight seems like an amateurish losers' mess, gradually earns its wings as human interaction shows Wilson to be more substantial and interesting than his tosser persona would credit; and Vivian to be more human than her pill-popping intro would have us believe.
Vivian's location sets were almost too realistic for the film's own good it seems. Twice, the cast and crew were threatened with police action when downmarket hotel managers were spooked by the sight of empty liquor bottles and prescription drug pill boxes. Much of the movie is made in downtown Los Angeles or Sunset Boulevard - surrounded by derelict theatres and decrepit hotels. But its verité style lovingly exposes both the city's decay and its beauty. Originally conceived as bitter critique, its ultimate appeal (like 'thelostshoeproject.com' that Vivian champions - 'everyone is searching for something') is one of jewels in the dust.
Pacing is adroitly achieved through abrupt changes in emotional resonance. From initial, self-consciously polished cinematography, we are thrown into Wilson's desultory world. And just as we want to lose patience with him, Vivian erupts into the dialogue, kicking ass all the way from Texas to L.A. A subplot involving Jacob and Min's romance distracts us long enough for the outcome of Wilson and Vivian's date to develop the needed tension. And perhaps the fact that the film doesn't sell out at the end persuades us to view the whole episode more kindly. The palpably low-budget allows the skills of the filmmakers to shine through - whereas a market-perfect production could well have glossed over them. Rather than a movie for couples out on a date, In Search of A Midnight Kiss is for all the people who wish they were out on a date. Or for couples brave enough to ask if they are any better off.
The film, for all its flaws, connects in a way that sanitised romantic comedy can not. Perhaps in idealising love it is all too easy to ignore the grubbier roots and miss what is in front of our eyes.
Finding love or any sort of emotional bond, or even just a one night
stand on the web might not be easier than in the "real world", but
it's certainly a way to start looking for that someone if you're too
shy or depressed to go out and meet people.
Alex Holdridge's extremely low-budget, black-and-white "In Search of a Midnight Kiss", is another variation of the "brief encounter" subgenre ("Lost In Translation", "Before Sunrise/Sunset") that I just love, and one of the finest feel good movies of the year. Despite some clichéd gimmickry of first-time filmmakers (this is Holdridge's third feature, actually), the movie relies on the chemistry of its protagonists, Scoot McNairy and Sara Simmonds, who are up for the task.
McNairy plays Wilson, who just got dumped by his long-term girlfriend (this is semi-autobiographical Holdridge got dumped by his girlfriend and had his laptop stolen in real life, just like Wilson in the movie), who posts a Craigslist ad following a friend's idea. He decides to meet the first woman who calls him, Vivian (Simmonds), a chain-smoking, temperamental aspiring actress. But they hit it off. The movie is essentially their day together, while we wonder whether they will share a New Year midnight kiss or not...
"In Search of a Midnight Kiss" will be enjoyed by those who had a similar experience (that is, finding a nice person online that can be as unlikely as getting randomly picked by a Belgian hottie on his last night in America - but I met my best friend online, so yes, these things CAN happen!), or those who dream of finding someone special. This film proves that a not so original premise and lack of technical resources can still make a good movie if the talents involved are able to make you want to go for the ride with them. And this search was a lovely ride. 8.5/10.
This is one of my favorite films of 2007. It captures perfectly the
feeling of living and dating in this day and age. Midnight Kiss is also
one of the few films I've seen that manages to convey both the male and
female points of view, in a very truthful and funny manner. The actors
are all fantastic, in particular the expressive Scoot McNairy and the
lovely Sara Simmonds.
This is what every independent film should be - unique, engaging, laugh out loud funny and tear-inducing as well. I was never bored and left wanting more. The audience I saw it with included twenty-somethings on up to people in their 70s, and everyone raved about it afterwards - amazing to see a film connect with so many people from different age groups. I just hope Midnight Kiss is given a great marketing campaign and a chance to build audiences with word of mouth and good reviews, because this is a jewel of a film that deserves a chance to be seen and succeed at the box office. Well done!
This movie was great. The cast meshed well together. Felt like it was something I could relate to. Everyone has a year they "don't want to get out of bed and acknowledge New Year's Eve" and all it stands for. Ialso enjoyed seeing Twink Caplan again. I loved her in Clueless. Trying to find a date for New Year's Eve is something we can all relate to and In Search of a Midnight Kiss makes it something we've all been through or felt. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone of any age. I felt it was just the right length. I can't wait for it to open nationally so my friends and family can also enjoy it. Well worth the ten bucks which seems to be rare these days.
Just finished my first viewing of the film. I feel compelled to write a
review in the hope that it persuades just 1 more person to see this
film. This film is a great piece of writing, directing and acting. It's
just a great film. That fact that it is not perfect makes the film as
close to perfect as you can get. Just when I was thinking I would have
wrote/shot this scene differently because I got annoyed with it I
realised maybe the point was to invoke the emotion.
What to expect is nicely paced movie which, as expected, focuses on the 2 main characters and the dialogue they have. You will laugh out loud, you will get annoyed, you will feel up, you will feel down and you will feel some genuine heart ache. Not to mention everything feels real. The scene just after they have some chewing gum is SO REAL to me that I find it hard to believe most people have not had an experience exactly like that.
Honestly I kind of sad that Hollywood is built in such a way that many people won't get to see or hear of this movie. Do your bit and spread the word.
BRILLIANT. Buy this film. Watch it and tell your friends to watch it.
It's little low budget Indies like this that make going to the movies a genuine joy. Alex Holbridge has crafted a sad & funny tale of lonely people on what is probably the worst holiday for them (New Years Eve). The central protagonist is pining for his lost love, when his room mates suggest he look for a hook up through Craig's List. Whom he connects with is everybody's idea of the blind date from Hell. Undaunted, out of loneliness, he tries to make the best of it, with some very funny & very harrowing results. This well written,directed,photographed (in stunning black & white)and acted out film is one to keep your eyes out for if you're sick to death of the same old cine crap from the Hollywood sausage grinder. As this film is unrated, expect some uber rough language & sexual situations (suggested and depicted).
This movie is both hilarious and touching with one of the funniest openings I've seen in a long time. It's a great example for all writers of how to start a movie. This film captures so precisely the pressure to belong, to be with someone, to be a part of a moment that society deems special. In this case - the New Year's kiss. Wilson meets up with a girl, Vivian, who is so annoying at first and only the pressure to not be alone on New Year's Eve keeps him hanging with her. As the story continues, we see more into Vivian's character and grow to like her more. It's beautifully shot and well-written. It's one of the strongest films to come out of last year's film festival scene. It's a little indie film that deserves a long life at the box office.
Alex Holdridge's film 'In Search of a Midnight Kiss' begins as the tale of a loser going on a date with a beautiful, painfully hip, but neurotic girl. This suggests a certain type of movie will follow; but as he gains confidence, and her act slips, a balance grows between them, they start flirting and the film soon starts to resemble Richard Linklater's 'Before Sunrise' (in fact, the resemblance only grows the longer the film lasts). In fact, I hated that film, but here, the characters are less self-regarding and the film has genuinely funny dialogue, coupled with interesting black and white photography, soppy indie guitar music (regulation for this type of film, but nonetheless effective) and a comic vision reminiscent of early Hal Hartley. If I have one criticism, it's that the sentimental mood that gradually takes the movie over possibly starts too soon; it's nicely done, but the film is at it's best before it settles into this comfort zone. This doesn't mean it isn't a humorous, romantic and artistic film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was sucked into watching this by the glowing User Reviews/high
Rating, and was extremely disappointed. The Romance, was pathetic. The
Comedy, was non-existent. Think Jerry Springer, meets newbie LA Losers.
The only redeeming thing, was the LA locations; they were not cliché.
Spoiler alert: The main male character is the definition of 'Loser'. "Suicidal"; Living with his best friend; "smoking bongs"; claiming to be a 'Writer', but writing nothing (lost the only thing he ever wrote); no job, and hasn't looked;, no relationship; neurotic mother; no money; no car; not attractive, or nice body .... basically, nothing going for him. He's not even a good friend (he masturbates to pictures of his best friends girlfriend). He places a vague 'dark' ad on Craig's List (notorious for hook-ups and Escorts). So far, great potential for a comedic character, but he is just tragic!
A woman, who claims to be obese, and into Bondage, calls him. She refuses to send him a picture, and claims she is meeting three other guys that very afternoon. He has such low self-esteem, he goes anyways (Ha Ha ha!). He borrows his friend's car to go meet her. She is just a nasty piece of work. Her only redeeming quality, she is mildly pretty. Here is where I regret not turning off the movie. If she was obese, and into S&M, this might have been very funny (e.g. John Waters film). She is an extremely selfish (she disappears for days, and does not return her mother's, or ex's, phone calls ... has a guy travel 90 minutes to meet her on New Years Eve, and dismisses him within seconds, because he has kids); Illiterate; Drinks vodka in the mornings (and she is pregnant); breaks promises; goes through his pockets; asks the main character to be honest, and when he is, runs away; Slaps him (Why is it, when a woman gets emotional, and slaps a man, it is acceptable?) ... I would have walked away from her in the opening scene!!!
If the guy was less of a loser, and better looking, and the girl was not a total Beeiotch ... this could have been better (e.g. Masturbation scenes can be very funny (e.g. Something about Mary, American Pie) ... but when you pity the person, and are not just embarrassed for them, it is not funny. Kind of like how a cartoon Coyote getting hurt is funny, but a real Coyote getting hurt is not.
I actually pity the people who thought this was Romantic and Realistic ... they need to get out more often ... or maybe they just buy into the belief unattractive Losers, should put up with anything, to get laid, and not be alone on New Year's Eve. The positive reviews can't all be by friends and family of the production?!?!
P.S. I also hated how she repeatedly told him she was not having sex with him, and berated him for being responsible and bringing condoms ... and then she has unprotected sex with him, cries, and calls a taxi?!?!
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