Review of Falling Overnight


Review: "Falling Overnight"

-- Rating: Not Rated
Length: 86 minutes
Release Date: July 27, 2011
Directed by: Conrad Jackson
Genre: Drama

"Falling Overnight" offers a twist on the traditional love story. Starring Parker Croft, Emilia Zoryan and Barak Hardley, the movie tells the story of a truly unusual first date. Viewers who are looking for a sweet, romantic comedy will enjoy the movie, which makes it ideal for a date night or girls' night out.

"Falling Overnight" opens on Elliot Carson (Parker Croft), a young web designer who is scheduled to undergo brain surgery in less than 24 hours. Faced with the prospect that he will not make it out of surgery alive, Elliot is faced with a crisis of conscience. When he meets an intriguing young artist and smoothie-maker named Chloe (Emilia Zoryan), he ditches his friends and embarks on an adventure around the city. Together, Elliot and Chloe experience the joys of meeting someone new and finding an undeniable connection.

Essentially, "Falling Overnight" is a first-date movie that eschews the traditional romantic comedy devices. Instead of glossing over the less-than-perfect moments of a first date, the movie turns them into the main focus of the story. Many scenes in the film show how the characters' physical actions express their inner emotions. The bulk of the film focuses on the small details of Elliot and Chloe's getting-to-know-you story. As the two ride bikes and attend parties, they slowly fall in love. Underlying the story is Elliot's reality.

In most cases, first dates are uncomfortable, awkward and entirely banal-hardly the stuff successful films are made of. It is a rare film that captures the emotion and possibility of a first date without alienating or boring the audience. A notable exception is "Before Sunrise," which was fraught with love and the sense of hope. In comparison, "Falling Overnight" stands up admirably. The film captures the characters' emotions, mostly by zooming in on their gestures and by employing standard first-date banter.

Director Conrad Jackson, who also wrote and edited the movie, makes a point to avoid anything that doesn't ring true. Although his technique is devoid of the standard movie-magic that is often used to make first-date stories palatable to general audiences, the result is sweet and subtle. Chloe and Elliot behave in a true-to-life way, and audiences will find it easy to relate to their interactions. Jackson's cinematic style involves a great deal of close-up shots on his main characters' bodies-in particular, Chloe's eyes and Elliot's throat. The zoomed-in shots are clearly meant to show how the characters feel as their relationship progresses.

Despite the light script, Croft and Zoryan make an admirable effort to bring depth to their characters. Croft, who is a former ballet dancer, adds a touch of magic to every scene simply by virtue of her beauty. Her long, slender limbs and shining eyes are sure to entrance viewers; when she is onscreen, it is difficult to look away. As Chloe, she gives a subtle and nuanced performance. With her often expressionless face and serene bearing, Zoryan offers a unique portrayal of a wild, free-spirited artist. Although similar characters are often found on film, Zorayan's acting choices set her apart. Croft, on the other hand, embodies the awkwardness of many young men in their early twenties. He seems uncomfortable with his lanky frame, making his character seem real and approachable. He is well suited to the role, perhaps due to the fact that he co-wrote the script. Whether or not the story is partially autobiographical, Croft is convincing as a confused, socially awkward technology professional.

"Falling Overnight" is a visually pleasing film. Jackson creates scenes that have a soft, glowing quality about them. The result helps to makes audiences feel comfortable and relaxed. Jackson's style is particularly flattering for Zoryan, who shines onscreen in the soft light. Jackson displays a remarkable talent with his handheld camera. While many films shot in this style are uncomfortably shaky, "Falling Overnight" escapes this pitfall. Instead, his scenes have just enough instability to keep viewers from getting too settled but not enough to induce nausea. In the end, the visual appeal is one of the most interesting and appealing parts of "Falling Overnight."

Overall, "Falling Overnight" is a sweet movie with endearing characters. Over the course of the story, viewers are privy to the minute aspects of Chloe and Elliot's meeting, from pointless conversations to painful silences. "Falling Overnight" is not suitable for children, but it is the perfect movie for a first date or an evening out with friends.

Rating: 3 out of 5