Skip to content

In Search of a Midnight Kiss

August 11, 2008

Penniless and lonely on New Year’s Eve, Wilson (Scoot McNairy; really, Scoot) is mooching about his best friend Jacob’s (Brian McGuire) LA apartment, when he is persuaded to put an online personal ad on CraigsList to see if he can get a date that won’t mean he’ll be on his own when the midnight chimes hit.

In response to his online plea he gets a request for a brief ‘interview’ with Vivian (Sara Simmonds), a loud and brash young woman who has decided to see a succession of contenders for her New Year’s partner. Despite a certain amount of mutual disbelief that this is who they will spend the day and possibly the evening with, the couple decide to stick it out and gradually realise that there’s a certain something developing between them.

It’s a slight premise, but then it’s just boy-meets-girl, the detail coming in their interactions, connections, fallings out and the consequences of their meeting. This is mostly done with sensitivity, and indeed there are some rather touching moments as we see a little bit further behind the naturally reticent exteriors of the two strangers; Vivian especially gradually exposes a soft and vulnerable side that, in comparison to her initial abrasiveness, is most effective in gaining the audience’s sympathy, whereas Wilson makes less of a journey.

Some of the scenes, however, are strictly cutting-room floor material, and jarringly heavy-handed. Relative newcomer, Alex Holdridge, who won the Grand Jury prize at the Florida Film Festival with this, executes his remit pretty well, and with much honesty, but it’s somewhat uneven, especially in the early stages. It seems that, in trying to immediately get away from the rather portentous title, he’s keen to remind us that this is actually a small and personal indie movie with quirky humour and not at all the grand canvas one might imagine it to be. Later, as the film gets into its stride, it actually starts to earn its grand appellation, and you realise that you’re watching something that – albeit quietly – wishes to say something about the universal themes that move and bind people together.

Shot in black and white, its nearest neighbour as far as the mix of intriguing city locale and relationship turmoil is concerned, is probably Manhattan, or perhaps that wonderful film’s daily rushes, for this is a grainy and street level piece, but nevertheless that’s a pretty flattering comparison. Worth hunting out for some unusual LA landscapes, and an absolutely terrific soundtrack, In Search of a Midnight Kiss, is a curate’s egg experience, but never uninteresting and occasionally quite a surprise.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ajesh permalink
    October 2, 2008 7:04 am

    Why does every new actress make it in a friend’s film and then take her clothes off. We really don’t need to see that Sara Simmonds is breast less. Do we?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: