This film could have been titled “There Will Be Beef.”
"Overnight" tells a riches-to-rags story, like "Project Greenlight" played in reverse. "Greenlight," you will recall, is the Miramax contest to choose and produce one screenplay every year by a hopeful first-time filmmaker. In "Overnight," the director starts out with a contract and money from Miramax, and works his way back to no contract, no film, and no money. Call it "Project Red Light."
The documentary tells the Hollywood story of a nine-day's wonder named Troy Duffy. He was a bartender at a sports bar called J. Sloan's on Melrose, and had written a screenplay titled "The Boondock Saints." He, his brothers and some friends had a rock band. In Los Angeles, every bartender under the age of 70 has a screenplay and is in a rock band, and they all want Harvey Weinstein of Miramax to read their script. After all, Harvey made Matt Damon and Ben Affleck stars by producing their screenplay of "Good Will Hunting."
Troy Duffy hits the trifecta. Not only does Harvey buy his screenplay, but he signs Duffy to direct it, and the band gets a recording contract, and he agrees to buy the bar; they'll own it together. To celebrate his good fortune, Duffy asked two friends, Tony Montana and Mark Brian Smith, to make a documentary of his rise. It turned out to be about his fall.
I'd give anything to see footage of the early meetings between Weinstein and Duffy. What magic did the bartender have, to so bedazzle Harvey? By the opening scenes of "Overnight," Duffy has sold a $300,000 script, has been given a $15 million budget, has signed with the William Morris Agency, and brags, "I get drunk at night, wake up the next morning hung over, go into those meetings in my overalls, and they're all wearing suits." Being Hollywood agents, they are probably also more familiar with the danger signals of alcoholism than Duffy is.