Hilarious and Horrifying at the same time, this is a Rags to Riches story about of Boston Bartender Troy Duffy who?s script "BoonDock Saints" made him an overnight success and failure? This epitomizes the word JERK like no... more » other could. The once darling of Miramax head, Harvey Weinstein, Duffy does great job of burning bridges with everyone and anyone in Hollywood. This should be Film 101 of how not to act in the film business. You won?t believe it until you see for yourself.« less
David Bonesteel | Fresno, CA United States | 06/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Troy Duffy was on the fast-track to become a Hollywood legend-while working as a bartender, he sold a screenplay to Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, got permission to direct it, and secured a recording deal for his band. Unfortunately for himself, Duffy was an egotistical control freak who insisted on claiming all the glory and credit for the good things that happened to him and assigning blame for all of the bad. This documentary chronicles his downfall as he disrespects and mistreats nearly everyone he encounters, ultimately losing all of his great opportunities.
When I first heard about this film, I wondered if anyone whose actions don't affect the public really deserves this kind of treatment. I was also leery about the honesty of the filmmakers; after all, you could probably make anybody look bad with selective editing. I still have some reservations, but after having seen the film, it's kind of hard to see how they could have edited it to make him look good. He makes some stunningly unkind statements to people to whom he claims to be loyal and seems to revel in the chance to put others down and force them to acknowledge his "superiority."
This film serves as a cautionary tale about how not to treat people. I imagine that Duffy will see this film someday if he hasn't already. I wonder if being an observer will allow him to see his responsibility for his own downfall, or if he continues to see himself as the genius auteur who was brought down by foolish hangers-on and duplicitous studio people. "
The Treasure of Obnoxious Bilious
M. JEFFREY MCMAHON | Torrance, CA USA | 04/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The documentary Overnight chronicles the manner in which Troy Duffy, hyped-up screenwriter of The Boondock Saints, behaves like a malignant bully toward his buddies, his agents, and his producers. Duffy sees himself as a working-class hero whose genius was discovered by the right people. But what we see, contrary to Duffy, is an overgrown shrieking infant seething with megalomaniacal tantrums, self-aggrandizing fantasies, and paranoid delusions who, alienating everyone, sees himself as an innocent victim. One is tempted to think that the promise of wealth turned him into such a bilious, obnoxious lout, like those characters turned rotten in The Treasure of Sierra Madre. But at the end of the documentary we are given a deliciously insightful quote from Albert Goldman, which sets the record straight:
"No man is really changed by success. What happens is that success works on the man's personality like a truth drug, bringing him out of the closet and revealing...what was always inside his head.""
The Art of Self-Assassination
R. W. Rasband | Heber City, UT | 04/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Overnight" is one of the most hilarious movies you will see in many a moon, but only if you are a devotee of "schadenfreude", that is, the spectacle of a royal jerk getting what he richly deserves. It's amazing how little self-knowledge some people have; apparently novice filmmaker Troy Duffy had no idea how megalomanical and obnoxious he came off to other people. This DVD really does restore your faith that some justice does exist.
There are a couple of mysteries that the film leaves unanswered. One is why Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein dropped Duffy in the first place; another is whether Harvey really did blacklist Duffy's film, "The Boondock Saints". There is an interview with a "Washington Post" reporter who describes Harvey's reactions. Some more interviews with some objective sources, or with Harvey himself, might have added some needed perspective. As it is, "Overnight" is a richly subjective look at the art of self-sabotage. Troy Duffy learned a harsh lesson: you can only act like that in Hollywood after you have made a hit film; not before."
King of Kings
Mr. A. Pomeroy | Wiltshire, England | 02/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, it's a portrait of Troy Duffy. But what's it like as a film? The answer is that it's only so-so. Troy is a fascinating subject, but the film has almost no context, and it goes on too long. It has a similar setup to that 9/11 documentary, in the sense that the film-makers - friends of Duffy, in the sense that Beast Man was a 'friend' of Skeletor - were originally going to make a straightforward documentary about an up-and-coming director, but disaster intervened and the film-makers ended up making a good egg out of a bad chicken.
You will notice that all the other reviews are actually about Troy, they are not really about the film. The film-makers have not made any other films, and although Overnight has nothing overtly wrong with it, it doesn't really tell us about anything except Troy Duffy. We learn almost nothing about the film he is making, a film which I have not seen, and have no desire to see. A top-quality documentary would have tried to put Troy into context - how did he get a film deal? How was he different from the other, similar, post-Tarantino movie brats such as Gary Fleder ("Things to do in Denver when you're dead") or Alan Taylor ("Palookaville") or a dozen others? Granted, those people are still working today, mostly in TV or direct-to-DVD, whereas Troy is not working at all, and so Troy must have been unusually crap, but it's hard to tell how unusually crap he must have been from the documentary.
The key thing for me is that, although Troy comes across as mindbendingly loud and profane, I was under the impression that all Hollywood producers and directors were like that. It is as if Troy is acting out a part that he has learned from watching documentaries about Hollywood film producers; for someone who had never directed or written a film before, he nonetheless manages to recover from a major setback (Miramax dumps him) and assemble a cast and direct a film which is released. That's more than I have done. We learn very little about this process - how did Troy make the film? Why did people put up with him? If he is capable of alienating his own brother, how did he direct actors? How come Willem Dafoe - an actor with a career - did not tell him to pip off? What stopped Billy Connolly from punching him out?
Troy is like R Lee Ermey in "Full Metal Jacket", in that he is a monster, but he is an entertaining and engaging monster. Eventually he becomes tiring, although there are a couple of memorably extended tirades (he is at his worst on the telephone), and the ending almost leaves you feeling sorry for him. He does have an odd charisma, and at the very least he gives the impression that he knows what he is doing. I can understand why people might follow him, even though he is not a Good King. The documentary leaves me wondering firstly what happened to Troy, and secondly how has Overnight itself affected his career? I only knew he existed because of this documentary, I imagine film producers are fully aware of it. I also wonder why the filmmakers themselves have done nothing since, not even on cable television."
He's the guy who cut you off in traffic
Mooseville | los angeles, ca USA | 08/21/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary is about so much more than a character study of one big jerk. It's also about an unspoken exchange by those so impressed with celebrity that they put up with that jerk's abhorrent behavior. Troy keeps his abusive hold on his cohorts, so long as they perceive that they are also on their way to "the big time". You see a look on their faces resembling hapless puppies ...too intimidated to speak up to Troy Duffy, the incipient Director maverick --that is, until his house of cards completely folds. Then normal human boundaries resume and grievances are tabled. That's the other side of the story. That's the sickness of the whole system.
Within a cultural vacuum of values, a guy like Troy really COULD and usually does go far. His only mistake was that he revealed his ego-maniacal behavior too fast to the power-brokers that "made" him.
Again, Hubris like Troy's is alive and well in Hollywood. His is a familiar personality-type that does set things in motion and gets things done. As much as I hate to say it, it's true. Had his gestation into the entertainment world included a modicum of tact, we'd all be celebrating Mr. Duffy today as some sort of American treasure. His story is much closer to the norm, vs. being an anomaly in terms of type.
Interestingly, even after experiencing a promising directorial career turned to shambles, the mechanisms of denial only enlarge. Troy, brimming with resentment for "the system" (a result of his self-inflicted travails), is invited to speak to a group of university film school students. There he presses his advantage and systematically degrades the aspiring filmmakers in the most predatory question-and-answer session this side of the Jerry Springer Show. The result could be comedic, except that you see each innocent soul being laid open like raw meat, as Troy gladly applies the salt. This spectacle includes shots of the bow-tie-wearing, shrinking and silent professor. Once again, all is tolerated because Troy's "been to Hollywood" and that's what's honored.
There's a lot to recommend here as an instructive example of the seedy edge of Filmland's deal-making (and breaking), as well as operant illustrations of sycophantic behavior. It's a cautionary tale.. An old cliche is given new life: Be careful of what you want."