Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


In Search of a Midnight Kiss

In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Starring:
Scoot McNairy, Kathy Luong, Brian Matthew McGuire and Sara Simmonds


Rated: No rating 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 1, 2008 Released by: IFC Films

This indie romancer may remind some of Before Sunset or the recent poignant musical-minded Once.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss is an ode to the City of Angels as two disparate twenty-somethings hook up on New Year's Eve.

An unexperienced Wilson (Scoot McNairy) is looking for love as the Texas native is struggling with his loneliness. It doesn't help that he has affection toward Min (Katy Luong), the steady girlfriend of goody buddy Jacob (Brian Matthew McGuire).

Some ardent humor is injected in writer-director Alex Holdridge's picture via on-line communities (here Craigslist) allowing Wilson (after a certain interview technique like "musical chairs") to be with an attractive blonde like Vivian (Sara Simmonds).

So, as unlikely as it may seem for a giddy gal Vivian to spend time with a guy like Wilson (who refers to himself as a misanthrope) with little notice, something quirky and disarming starts to gel (like Wilson) after some embarrassment. Some of the banter might be reminiscient of Interview which featured the scruffy Steve Buscemi (McNairy shares a bit of that quality) against the photogenic, starlet Sienna Miller.

The awkward hard-to-get routine pungently shuffles around lighter and romantic moments with Simmonds scoring as a fiery, peppered-mouth pill-popper who slowly unveils her bravado. She often shares a nice rhythm with the increasingly appealling, if a bit miserable McNairy.

The not-too-pretentious b/w photography by Robert Murphy, also an ex of Vivian in a wildly demanding sequence at her apartment, doesn't highlight the downtown L.A. area. It helps to soften one up to immature young adult life as subways help them get around before the stroke of midnight.

Holdridge has a feel for the use of computers and wireless devices with their messaging potential in today's fast-paced environment, but keeps it in fashion with the variable human, hormonal side. Moreover, Midnight Kiss has a spontaneity that clicks in vividly rendering a gritty urban area with sass in the search for what makes people like Wilson and Vivian happy.

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