Hollywood is fickle. It can pluck you from obscurity, bring you to the cusp of fame and fortune, only to cast you back out, before you even get a chance to release a sex tape. We’ve been witness to many ill-fated meteoric rises to stardom — spectacular success stories with bitter endings. Starlets become drug addicts, pop sensations crumble under the pressures and the flashbulbs, and well respected, aging beauties fade into obscurity. All in all, it’s a tough business, hanging in a delicate balance of creativity and profit, flash-in-the-pan hype and George Clooney durability, all of it run by the hard-nosed axiom: The Show Must Go On.
So if you’re given a golden opportunity to break into the industry, the first step towards succeeding is this: maybe don’t be a fucking asshole to everyone you meet.
Overnight is a masterful documentary about a man named Troy Duffy, who got his very own golden ticket to superstardom. And then decided to be a fucking asshole to everyone he met.
Z. What a penis.
T. Thanks for noticing.
Anyway, the story begins in 1997, when Harvey Weinstein found Duffy in a bar, probably drunk off his ass, waxing philosophic about the virtues of vigilantism, and really badass-sounding praying. And cool tattoos. And lots of slow-motion gunfire. And Ron Jeremy.
For some reason (boredom), Weinstein decides to offer Duffy a sweetheart deal for his script, The Boondocks Saints.
Z. The Boondocks Taints.
T. The Box-office Tanks.
Duffy gets $300,000 for the script, a $700,000 advance to begin production, and not only is he allowed to direct, he gets final cut. His band The Brood even gets to do the soundtrack. And in case this deal wasn’t close enough to the plot of a Cheers episode, if Sam Malone were a terrible human being, Weinstein even agrees to go halves with Duffy on purchasing a bar.
Troy Duffy: Evening everybody.
Friends at the bar: TROY!
Troy Duffy: Fuck all of you. You people wouldn’t even be in this bar if it weren’t for me. You can all go to hell.
Anyway, he basically gets a ludicrously good offer. But is Troy Duffy humbled and grateful, ready to work hard to show his appreciation? Fuck no. He wrote The Boondocks Saints.
Instead Troy sits in a rented office and holds a series of meetings with his inner circle, his very own “cesspool of creativity,” as Troy so poetically words it. Troy also refers to himself and his band as “a logpile of creativity.”
Z. A train wreck of creativity.
T. A heaping pile of shit of creativity.
So anyway, he holds these meetings with his band members and basically goes through the litany of reasons why, even though they’ve done jack-shit and suck, they’re going to take both the movie and music industries by storm.
Troy Duffy: “Guys, all we have to do is make a bunch of fucking amazing movies, and then release album after album of fucking amazing music, and then Hollywood will know we’re totally the shit, and we’ll get paid ass loads of money, and be rolling in pussy!”
Troy’s Friends: “Yeah man sounds good, but my phone service just got cut off and I’m being evicted, so if you could maybe give us just a little bit of money now to…”
Troy Duffy: “Fuck you guys! You guys are nothing! You’re only here because I wrote The Boondocks Saints. I wrote The Boondocks Saints.”
Troy’s Friends: (muttering) “Oh Jesus.”
After Duffy finishes pontificating about his artistic genius and sure-fire success while systematically alienating his friends and family, he drunkenly attends to casting his movie. His really brilliant strategy for this is to be really rude and unprofessional to the actors he wants to be in his movie, and talk all kinds of shit behind the backs of the actors he doesn’t want to be in his movie.
Always painfully aware of the documentary crew following his rise to fame, Duffy casts himself as a hiply superior Artist of unparalleled integrity who “[would] never work with Keanu Reeves!” and thinks Ethan Hawke is “a no-talent hack.” Because he’s Troy Duffy, and what Troy Duffy does not give is a fuck.
So basically no one wants to be in this asshole’s movie.
Z. Well, and it’s just a shitty movie anyway.
T. Except for that part where that old guy has like eight guns and is all, bang, bang, bang, bang. And the brothers all have guns and they’re all, bang, bang, bang, bang.
Does Duffy take this as a cue to curb his massive ego and start working hard? Fuck no. He takes this as a sign that everyone in Hollywood must be a stupid asshole who doesn’t understand his genius. And then he yells at some people, and he’s like, “I wrote the fucking Boondocks Saints, I’m the new big thing, put me through to Harvey Weinstein.” And, to make a long, complicated story short, Harvey Weinstein is eventually like, “Jesus, fuck this guy.”
So Miramax drops the picture, and Duffy finds himself blackballed by all of Hollywood. He starts being even more of an asshole to his friends, his band, the documentary crew, and even his younger brother. By this point everyone is finally starting to be like, “No, dude. It’s you. It’s… I mean you’re a total fucking asshole.” And he’s like, “Fuck you all! I got you here! You didn’t do shit! I don’t trust you assholes! I wrote Boondocks Saints!” And the documentary crew is trying to be reasonable, and they’re like, “No, really man, you can’t treat people like this. It’s just not … decent.” And Troy’s like, “The Boondocks Saints! The Boondocks Saints!”
Z. What an asshole.
Boondocks Saints eventually gets made for less than half its Miramax budget, which is no big deal to Duffy because he’s convinced that when the finished movie debuts at Cannes, every fucking studio in Hollywood will be lining up and coming all over themselves to buy it and Harvey Weinstein can eat a dick. It debuts at Cannes and every major Hollywood studio doesn’t give a fuck. And Duffy’s like, “Wait, what the fuck?”
Despite this setback, he manages to negotiate an even- though-you’re-a-big-asshole-I–feel-kind-of-bad-for-you contract with some really independent distribution company who manage to get it released in five theaters for a grand total of seven days.
The reviews are unanimous: It sucks.
As for his band, The Brood, he changes their name to, you guessed it, The Boondocks Saints.
Z. Oh god. Seriously?
T. Jesus Christ.
They get signed with some Atlantic subsidiary and record their first album, which sells a grand total of 690 copies. The Atlantic subsidiary drops them from the label and they disband.
As for Duffy, he is ostracized from Hollywood and retires to a street corner outside a bar in Boston, where he smokes cigarettes and talks to himself.
But the story doesn’t end there. Thanks to 14 year-old boys everywhere, The Boondocks Saints gets a second life on DVD as a cult classic, and it goes on to earn $50,000,000.
Too bad Duffy didn’t negotiate for any piece of the video sales.
What an asshole.
Overnight: 4 Bravehearts.
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- chels said:I finally read your review of Raiders of the Lost Ark & I’m definitely gonna use that humming the theme song trick whenever I’m dreading something. And next time I’m with a kid who’s scared, I’ll tell them to do it too. Seems like good solid advice.
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