'Overnight' (R)

 

Best to just skip this flight altogether.

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By Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald

I don’t know about you, but when I hop on a redeye flight I put in my earbuds, find some Elvis Costello on the iPod and hope the crying baby in the last row eventually falls asleep. In Overnight, two people fall in love; a rapper comes to terms with the fact he’s a selfish jerk; two guys of Middle Eastern heritage happily realize they’ll always be racially profiled; and an angry pilot reconciles with his wife after a religious co-pilot lays a little Corinthians on him. Love may be patient and kind, but I am not. I do keep a record of wrongs: Overnight is the feel-dumb movie of the spring.

Most people won’t see this ridiculous comedy, which includes a dog getting flushed down the airplane toilet, infantile dialogue (“I’ve got a case of the yuckies”) and sex in an airplane lavatory about the size of my dining room (talk about flying the friendly skies). And that is a good thing. The Three Stooges has a better, smarter premise.

The main story belongs to betrayed copy writer Jenny (Rachel Blanchard) and banjo-strumming physicist Tom (James D’Arcy, last seen abdicating the throne in Madonna’s W.E.), who meet cute in the LAX bookstore reaching for the same relationship book. They’re both on the redeye flight to New York, and he connives to lure her to the seat next to him in first class; his seatmate, a hostile rapper named TMJ (in what is probably the movie’s only funny joke) wants to impress his girlfriend by sitting in coach and proving his down-to-earthness, or something. But her seatmates in the back of the plane (Maz Jobrami, Mousa Kraish) unnerve TMJ (Gbenga Akinnagbe of The Wire and Nurse Jackie), because they look Arabic. One of them even has a beard.

Jenny and Tom discuss the existence of love, past relationships and their exes, particles, time and space and Papa Smurf. They bond, fight, sulk, reconcile, break up, all in the course of a coast to coast flight. It’ll feel like six hours to you, too. Meanwhile their captain (Anthony LaPaglia) bickers with his spouse on the phone, until his Jesus-loving co-pilot (Josh Braaten) convinces him the error of his ways. That’s his moment of truth. Here’s yours: Overnight is a witless waste of time, more likely to make you reach for an airsickness bag than make you laugh.

Cast: Rachel Blanchard, James D’Arcy, Anthony LaPaglia, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Maz Jobrami, Mousa Kraish.

Writer/director: Valerie Breiman.

Producers: Daniel Grodnick, Michael Gruskoff, Zach Norman, Michael Viner.

A Westchester Films release. Running time: 95 minutes. Language, some sexual content. Opening Friday April 20 in Miami-Dade: Aventura, Sunset, Paragon; in Broward: Pompano, Sawgrass; in Palm Beach: Delray, Lake Worth, Parisian

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