In Search of a Midnight Kiss cover

In Search of a Midnight Kiss

7.7 out of 10 

In Search of a Midnight Kiss is an indie comedy romance story shot on a shoestring budget that was written and directed by Alex Holdridge. It’s a seemly simple tale of guy meets girl but keeps you guessing until the very end. Ultimately, it’s about growing up and becoming a mature adult.

Recently arriving to Los Angeles after a painful break up, Wilson (Scoot McNairy) to say the least, is lonely. It doesn’t help that New Year’s Eve is coming up and he would want nothing more than to have someone there to share a midnight kiss with. His roommate comes up with the idea of posting an ad on Craigslist for this problem. Wilson is reluctant and not very comfortable with the idea of online dating but is desperate enough that he agrees.

He gets a call from a girl named Vivian (Sara Simmonds) who agrees to meet him at a restaurant. Vivian is a self-proclaimed ambitious girl who comes off very demanding. She knows what she wants and will not settle for less. Although by the way she acts towards Wilson in the first 10 minutes of meeting each other, I’m surprised he stuck around.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss indie movie review

It turns out to be the right decision to stick around because she does begin to warm up and you see a completely different side of her. I was actually quite impressed with the chemistry they seemed to have with each other on the screen.

Although, they do hit a few road blocks along the way, as he says something to upset her and she threatens to walk away from the date and thus walk away from Wilson’s plan to find that midnight kiss. For someone who hasn’t been on a date for 6 years, he is determined to not make that happen.

You can tell by the look of the film that the type of camera they used was extremely low budget. The dialog (mostly at the beginning) also felt low budget. What I mean by that is there are times were it is sloppy and delivered without full emotion. Most of the times these are rescued because you know the intent was realism, natural flow of conversations that are believable.

This explains how In Search of a Midnight Kiss joined the realms of The Station Agent, Humpday, and even The Blair Witch Project by winning the John Cassavetes Award at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards. In order to receive that award the film’s budget needs to be less than $500,000. I am guessing this one was shot for considerably less. Hard to fault it for the lack of money, perhaps with a larger budget they would have been able to afford better quality cameras, actors, etc. Bottom line is, the screenplay was there, the money wasn’t.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss is a wonderfully written film that isn’t quite your typical Hollywood chick flick because it is much more relatable and believable than those are. The mainstream audience may not be able to get past the low budget-ness of the film but that’s a shame. It’s worth it.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss Movie review

7.7/10
Scoring Guide

Author: Dustin Jansick

Dustin Jansick is an independent film critic who also enjoys; indie music, cooking, technology, sports, puzzles, graphic design, and P.T. Anderson films. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Way Too Indie, which means he reviews hundreds of movies each year. Also a proud member of the OFCS.

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  • MovieLover

    Hi Dustin, I really enjoyed reading your well written and sweet review of this trite little number. I can’t agree with you about the screenplay though. I think it lacks depth and maturity. It would be nice for someone whom was in to reading Judy Bloom books, but outside from that it is not very graceful. I can however see your point in that if the film had more of a budget it could have afforded itself a better camera quality and actors. The lead female of the film, Vivian (Sara Simmonds) appears to do her best to pull off the range of hardcore slut next door transformed into a misunderstood loosey-goosey who chain smokes and has one night stands with complete strangers while carrying a child. Her character lacks the necessary range of a seasoned actress and her style is more of that high school drama student — too big at times and too understated at others, never really on key. The most memorable moments of this film were Katie Luong (the room mate’s girlfriend). Every time she appears on screen she steals the show with her charm and beauty. The guys in the film didn’t even catch my attention enough to look up their names. Thank you.

  • http://www.abstractinfluence.com Dustin Jansick

    I’m glad you enjoyed the review! Thanks for commenting, I see your points and agree with most of them.

    What I meant by the screenplay, is I felt the concept of the movie was pretty good but just not executed to the fullest. I know it’s not terribly deep or anything but to me it was very realistic. It’s not some fantasy storyline with a wild ending.

    P.S. Did you mean Judy Blume?

  • MovieLover

    LOL! Yes, Judy Blume. Thank you. :)

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