In Search Of A Midnight Kiss

Writer-director Alex Holdbridge's indie romance features gorgeous B&W footage of Los Angeles, but the lead characters are Morose, depressed, 29-year-old former video-store clerk Wilson (Scott McNairy) left his Texas hometown for LA in hopes of becoming a screenwriter – okay, and also because his longtime girlfriend dumped him – but success has so...read more

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Writer-director Alex Holdbridge's indie romance features gorgeous B&W footage of Los Angeles, but the lead characters are

Morose, depressed, 29-year-old former video-store clerk Wilson (Scott McNairy) left his Texas hometown for LA in hopes of becoming a screenwriter – okay, and also because his longtime girlfriend dumped him – but success has so far eluded him. He barely leaves the apartment he shares with his childhood friend Jacob (Brian McGuire) and lusts secretly for Jacob's girlfriend Min (Kathleen Luong), though the secret is out after Min and Jacob catch him masturbating to a photoshopped picture of her… and on New Year's Eve, no less. Mortified and desperate not to spend the evening alone, Wilson reluctantly posts a personals ad on Craig's List, and within an hour he has a 4PM date with Vivian (Sara Simmonds), though she warns that he's not the only guy she's meeting that afternoon and if they don't click immediately she's moving on. Blond, chain-smoking would actress Vivian turns out to be a prickly beauty whose neuroses are at least the equal of Wilson's, but despite its inauspicious beginnings, their meandering date winds up lasting all night and taking them all over LA's little-walked streets.

Though structured like Richard Linklater's loose, unexpected charming BEFORE SUNRISE (1995), Holdridge's film is painfully undermined by its central characters. Linklater'S young non-lovers hide a wounded sweetness beneath their glib pronouncements, but while Vivian and Wilson gradually reveals layers of insecurity and hurt, it doesn't truly offset the fact that Vivian is a self-destructive bitch and Wilson is a whining sad sack stewing in a soup of petty grudges; their crude navel-gazing . The trouble isn't so much that they're unlikable as it is that they're uninteresting; you can't begrudge them their shared dream of that all-important midnight kiss -- who doesn't want to the incoming year to be better than the one on its way out?) – but Holdridge doesn't give you much reason to care what lies beneath their crude, defensive self-absorption and inchoate sense of entitlement.

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  • Released: 2008
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Writer-director Alex Holdbridge's indie romance features gorgeous B&W footage of Los Angeles, but the lead characters are Morose, depressed, 29-year-old former video-store clerk Wilson (Scott McNairy) left his Texas hometown for LA in hopes of becoming… (more)

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