Alex Holdridge‘s In Search of a Midnight Kiss is the best twenty-something relationship movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s almost a breakthrough film in that “twentysomething relationship movie” tends to mean something vapid and broadly stupid (i.e., humiliation humor, body-function jokes) with Anna Faris or Dane Cook or something along those lines. And this is quite the other thing.

Midnight Kiss is a dry and recognizably human thing, “real” and uncloying, youngish and yet seasoned, sharply written and believably acted except for two supporting performances. I have some minor issues with it, but it’s easily the most engaging film of its type to come along since I don’t know when.
It’s set in Los Angeles and is certainly an “L.A. movie” through and through. One of its virtues, perhaps its principal virtue, is Robert Murphy‘s black-and-white photography, which has some of the most romantic silvery images of big city since Gordon Willis‘s work in Woody Allen‘s Manhattan. Murphy’s photography is of downtown L.A. with a little Silver Lake and deep Hollywood thrown in.
And yet Los Angeles seems to be the only hip town it hasn’t played in yet. ISATMK has been on the worldwide festival circuit since April 2007 (starting with the Tribeca Film Festival), and has opened in New York, Cambridge, San Francisco, Seattle, Berkeley, Washington, D.C….you name it. It finally opens here next Friday.
I’m hoping to do a sitdown with Holdridge and the cast (Scoot McNairy, Sara Simmonds) on Tuesday, or maybe the day before or after.