Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.
Poorly directed, a waste of a useful David Stanley script
"Overnight" says a lot about B. Skow's lack of talent and the steady downfall of the once-preeminent Vivid label. This forgettable programmer spotlighting Allie Haze should have turned out much, much better.
As a credits fanatic, I was immediately hipped to the fact that at the end, in violation of that hard-fought DGA rule (this being porn is not subject to MPAA or DGA ground rules at all, of course) that has the director credited first at the end of a feature, especially if no opening credits are shown (increasingly and irritatingly the case). Instead, we have David Stanley the screenwriter credited, and then the director B. Skow in the end credits crawl.
This Freudian slip underscores the fact that Stanley is the creative force behind this project, with his partner at Vivid and more recently for Girlfriends Films, Skow the hack who executes. And with poor continuity and lousy direction of the actors, Skow should be ashamed this time out.
With customary cute dialog and oddball situations, Stanley portrays Allie as a "drug whore", living with several other stoned denizens of the Lower Depths, though their Chatsworth dwelling looks comfortable enough. Spotlighted among her whorehouse roommates are Jessie Andrews, fresh from her career breakthrough "Portrait of a Call Girl" marathon leading role not that different from this minor assignment, and Skin Diamond, saddled with a black-on-black humping session with Mr. Marcus, seemingly their pimp of sorts.
But other than these mandatory "variety" sex filler scenes, it is Allie who dominates the show, giving another quality performance that generates mucho empathy from the audience, if in fact there is an audience for "Overnight" besides a completist like me.
Enter Richie Calhoun, still being billed as just Richie (though without a brain). He's a stereotypical Icahn or Romney, rich boy buying up ailing companies to dismantle them and make dough by stripping out the valuable assets. Stanley posits that he suffers from "night terrors", based on a psychological condition stemming from his failure to help his dying (estranged) mother, and resulting guilt trip.
So Richie must hire prostitutes to accompanying him during the night, as hiring a night nurse instead would depress him. On this slender thread of a plot David creates an effective two-hander script in which the romantic tug & pull between Allie & Richie is worth watching, except...
I have seen dozens of Stanley writer-director shows for Vivid dating back a decade or so, and good or bad they are all quite interesting and definitely quirky. For some reason, his directing career stalled and in recent years he mainly lets Skow handle that chore, only occasionally venturing forth on his own. The result in "Overnight", one of the duo's final Vivid projects, apart from unwatchable "porn-parody" crap.
Calhoun generates plenty of empathy on his road from callous, hissable cad to reformed Good Samaritan, under the influence of his night companion for pay Allie. He's promised her $10,000 for a three night stand, rather than just one overnight stay, and the catch is that he doesn't want sex (he's a victim of that old porn standby pre- Cialis/Viagra: "limp dick syndrome") but only companionship to prevent him from harming himself when waking in fear.
Skow's portrait of the hookers is 100% stereotype and insulting, with Andrews even facilitating Allie's drug overdose and stealing her money in an unnecessarily nasty little scene. Structure of very brief with fade-outs dialog scenes becomes annoying through repetition and is probably the director's rather than the writer's fault. The way I see it, Skow should have structured the film entirely differently and sat on Stanley for as many re-writes as were needed to turn this nascent gem into a winner, rather than just cranking out garbage.
Worst performance goes to Nick Manning, a handsome stud (from soap opera land) with limited acting talent. He plays Richie's long-time lawyer and bad influence, even more venal and rotten than our hero. Nick can play smug (and always does) but his overacting is terrible, and ruins most of his scenes. Especially awful is his crude hoodwinking of Allie, trying to destroy the incipient Richie/Allie romance (which threatens his meal- ticket), then humping her and finally beating her up (off-camera of course, Skow being a self-censorship wimp when it comes to mixing sex & violence in Adult Cinema).
Besides the continuity errors concerning Allie's on again/off again bandaging of her face, this scene and those that follow are botched by Skow and Stanley with zero credibility to her actions. So they needed another sex scene before the cornball Richie humps Allie conclusion, but Nick as the designated humper is totally bogus. And Skow also gets the directing (or dereliction of that duty) booby prize for letting the veteran Manning scream his tag-line "Droppin' Loads!" rather than advising Nick to stifle himself, or at least scheduling a retake, when Nick is Mr. Nasty bamboozling corporate takeover victim India Summer in yet another disgusting scene. Skow believes in painting a Black Hat character so broadly that it ruins any chance of nuance or interest on the part of a loyal viewer.
So once-mighty filmmakers Stanley and Skow slide down the drain, as their temporary ship Vivid Entertainment sinks underneath them. "Overnight" suggests the phrase "overnight success", but this video is more expressive of overnight career (and company) failure.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?