The thin line between self-esteem and hubris is explored in this cautionary tale of aspiring musician and filmmaker Troy Duffy, whose rise and fall were incubated in a poisonous soup of class resentment and megalomaniacal feelings of entitlement. September 1996: Aspiring documentarian Tony Montana sells bartender Duffy on a fly-on-the-wall documentary chronicling Duffy's impending one-two assault on show-business celebrity. Having formed a promising band called The Brood with his brother Taylor, Duffy was also peddling a Quentin Tarantino-influenced revenge screenplay, "The Boondock Saints," that was generating some buzz. Duffy liked the idea — you can see in retrospect that it pandered to his overweening ego — and suggested that Montana join forces with Mark Brian Smith; the pair also became The Brood's comanagers. At first, it looked as though they were witnessing a Hollywood Cinderella story. Miramax head Harvey Weinstein signed Duffy to a sweet deal that paid $300,000 for the script and guaranteed a $15 million budget to make it. The Brood would supply music and Weinstein even promised to throw in the deed to J. Sloan's, the bar where Duffy worked. Duffy formed a company, ominously called "The Syndicate," to handle his business interests and assured his circle of friends that they were aboard the express train to fame and fortune. But before they could fasten their seat belts, the ride got bumpy. Emboldened by the "overnight success" stories about his coup, Duffy became increasingly truculent, hoarding the wealth and accusing his entourage of disloyalty if they asked to be paid for their efforts. Even as Duffy bantered with A-list stars about the film, his indiscreet, rude and combative bluster was apparently alienating Weinstein so badly that Miramax put the project into turnaround in 1997; no other studio picked it up. The Brood, rechristened Boondock Saints when another group laid prior claim to the name, lost their record deal and eventually re-signed with a smaller label; Montana and Smith were cut out of the deal. THE BOONDOCK SAINTS was eventually made for cut-rate producer Elie Samaha's Franchise Pictures, failed to attract a mainstream distributor and eventually went to video after a nominal theatrical release. The deal left Duffy out in the cold. It's hard not to feel that Duffy got exactly what he deserved, but equally abrasive louts prosper in Hollywood. The film's practical lesson is that you should steer clear of dogfights unless yours is the biggest, meanest dog in the game.
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- Released: 2004
- Rating: NR
- Review: The thin line between self-esteem and hubris is explored in this cautionary tale of aspiring musician and filmmaker Troy Duffy, whose rise and fall were incubated in a poisonous soup of class resentment and megalomaniacal feelings of entitlement. September… (more)