Independent Streak

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By Rachel Galvin

Set primarily in an overnight flight on Bicoastal Airlines, this film explores relationships and all the neuroses, self-doubt and sacrifice that it entails. "Overnight," directed by Valerie Breiman ("Love & Sex") stars Rachel Blanchard, James D'Arcy and Anthony LaPaglia along with a large cast of characters that keep the audience laughing through gag after gag. It gets off to a slow start, but once the conflicts begin and the inner depth of the personalities are revealed, it really gets funny.

Blanchard and D'Arcy's characters, Jenny and Tom, go through an entire relationship together, complete with several "Mile High Club" experiences, from the initial flirtation to the exploration to the conflict and break-up and beyond -- all in one overnight flight. This is their attempt to regain some semblance of self-love through codependency after bad breakups. Although their moments seem to wear on a bit, it is this weariness that almost adds to the reality of it. The audience is made to not only see, but really feel the craziness of Blanchard's dependency especially.

The mood swings certainly seem bipolar, perhaps that is why it is called "Bicoastal airlines." And this type of mania versus depression seems to possess many of the cast members.

Also on the plane is rapper TMJ (Gbenga Akinnagbe) with a tiny, precious white dog, which he has bought in hopes of rekindling romance with his girlfriend. The contrast between his ghetto bling and entourage and the dog and dog carriage is comical enough. As the wall he has built around himself begins to crumble, his personality goes from hard as steel to soft and pliable, his turbulent emotions bubble to the surface and allow him to trust those around him in ways he was unable to before. His transformation and the lovable dog antics are probably some of the funniest bits of the whole film.

Then there are Amir (Moz Jabrani) and Mohamed (Mousa Kraish), who everyone assumes are terrorists, but really are far from it. The more we learn about their professions and their relationship, the more interesting they become and are able to help others around them cope, while creating funny moments on their own.

Meanwhile, in the cockpit,the pilot, played by LaPaglia, is having an over-the-phone crisis with his wife. The co-pilot, Derek (Josh Braaten), does his best to use passages from the Bible to pacify him, which only angers him more. Look for laugh out loud moments between the pilot with anger issues and the doe-eyed pilot who is a quiet pacifist.

Overall, this is a cute, romantic comedy perfect for date night. Some of the situations, although exaggerated, are certainly something many can relate to and others are just over-the-top fun. Avoid watching the trailer, for it gives away many of the best moments of the picture. If you are looking for something that does not take itself too seriously and is light and comical, this is the film for you!

Listen to an interview with the film's producer, Zack Norman, on the  Indie Streak Show.

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