Here’s an mp3 of my interview with Alex Holdridge, director-writer of In Search of a Midnight Kiss, and his stars, Scoot McNairy and Sara Simmonds, at Le Pain Quotidien on Wednesday, 8.20. It runs 45 minutes. Some of it is fine; some of it is hard to make out. You can’t individually mike four people, and there’s no such thing as a truly quiet restaurant. The clatter of plates and silverware, oppressive mood music, and the wallah-wallah of other customers always intrude.
Midnight Kiss star Sara Simmonds
At one point, having made my admiration for Midnight Kiss extremely clear (particularly the snappy dialogue, the unforced acting, the black-and-white photography), I brought up some of my issues with it. If you haven’t seen the film, skip the rest of this article to avoid spoilers and confusion. In any event and in no particular order, here are my beefs:
(a) What’s so godawful terrible about a guy admitting to a woman he’s just getting to know (and vice versa) that he’s jerked off to a photo of his roommate’s girlfriend? Simmonds’ character goes ballistic when McNairy tells her this, which seemed excessive to me. I wouldn’t find this information very appealing, but I wouldn’t go into an angry rage about it either. Particularly, as McNairy confides, if the roommate’s girlfriend wasn’t offended and was actually mildly charmed by this act of worship.
(b) One thing that turns me off big-time about a woman I’m just getting to know is finding out that her ex-boyfriend is a bullying, emotionally belligerent asshole with a country-boy accent. It shows that she has lousy judgment and probably has something wrong with her to have found this guy attractive in the first place. This is exactly the case with Simmonds and her ex-boyfriend in the film, who’s played by the film’s dp Robert Murphy. If I were in McNairy’s character’s shoes I would have said “outta here!” as soon as Murphy’s personality and behavior became clear.
(c) I didn’t agree with Simmonds’ character telling McNairy’s at the very end that seeing each other isn’t going to work or fit. Even if she’s pregnant. They’ve gone through so much, seem so compatible, have such excellent chemistry. She says at the beginning that she’s looking for “the love of my life,” she finds someone who just might fill the bill, and she blows him off?
(d) McNairy’s rooommate is played by Brian McGuire, a lanky beanpole with a flabby stomach who seems to be at least 6′ 6″ if not taller. His beautiful, beloved girlfriend is played by Kathleen Luong, who appears to be 5’1″ or 5’0″, if that. It’s not unheard of for super-tall guys to hook up with tiny women, but the gulf between these two is so extreme that it veers on the bizarre. Tall guys tend to hook up with tall or mid-size women, shortish guys date shortish women, etc. Basic birds-of-a-feather logic.
(e) Why have Luong twice express a romantic interest in McNairy without showing where it leads? We see that she’s hot for him, and that’s the end of it — nothing carnal happens, nobody’s feelings are hurt, no meltdown with McGuire. So what’s the point?