The new lo-fi romantic comedy In Search of a Midnight Kiss has its moments among the missteps. It's a two steps forward and one step back kind of film. I wanted to really like this thanks to my romantic leanings but a few of its flaws hold it back--it's just okay and kind of a pale imitation of another talky, romantic film released a few years ago.
A couple of lonely, slightly broken people hook up via Craig's List so they don't have to be alone on New Year's Eve. I know people use Craig's List or Myspace for this kind of thing but it has always baffled me. I don't see the appeal meeting people through wires of technology and the use of texting and e-mails for communication. I also don't get the idea of having to have someone near to kiss at the strike of midnight. If I'm alone that night, I'd rather just be alone. Maybe I'm the oddball in this day and age?
But not these two people. They arrange a meeting and it's awkward but since these two are desperate they might actually like one another. Being desperate doesn't mean you can't find a connection or love while lost in that haze of recklessness (even if it is via Craig's List!). Slowly the pair start to let down the walls and start to like each other--thanks in part to a wonderful sequence in an old, empty movie theatre. It isn't surprising as the film is more formula than it thinks it is.
The frustrating thing about In Search of a Midnight Kiss are the odd character leaps that come out of nowhere a few times. Left turns are one thing but they have to make sense as the film unfolds. They come off as over scripted with a screenwriter trying to hard in this movie. The film is compared to Before Sunrise/Before Sunset (same producers) and it does have some characters walking around talking about their lives. That's true. It isn't as intelligent or as romantic as the dialogue in those two films and the acting is nowhere near as polished from the leads so that kind of comparison only makes me long for those two films from director Richard Linklater.
I'm heading to New York for a week at the end of the year. I will be there on New Year's Eve. Alone. Should I get my Craig's List profile up and running? Should I take some new photos of myself in front of a mirror and add it to my Myspace profile? The clock is going to strike a new year and it looks like I'll be going it alone--now feeling either lonely or desperate thanks to In Search of a Midnight Kiss. Not really.