out of Five
Running time: 90
Beautifully shot, brilliantly written and superbly acted relationship drama that single-handedly restores your faith in indie movies.
What's it all about?
Shot entirely in crisp black and white, the film stars Scoot McNairy as lonely, L.A.-based slacker Wilson, who's still depressed about breaking up with his ex-girlfriend in order to come out to L.A. After an embarrassing incident in which he gets caught pleasuring himself to a Photoshopped picture of his flatmate's girlfriend (Katy Luong as Min), he's persuaded to place an online personal ad on the morning of New Year's Eve.
Wilson eventually winds up on a date with Vivian (Sara Simmonds), a beautiful, bossy and decidedly full of herself wannabe actress, who warns him that if he doesn't come up to scratch she'll call someone else at 6 o'clock because there's no way she's spending New Year's Eve with some loser. The rest of the film basically follows them on an extended ramble around Los Angeles as they bicker, flirt and get to know each other.
McNairy and Simmonds are wonderful as the two leads and it just goes to show you that all you really need for a good romantic drama are two talented, likeable actors and a great script. For example, the evolution of their relationship is entirely believable, particularly the way in which Vivian gradually lets her guard down.
The film is packed with lovely little scenes, several great lines and a genuinely heartbreaking moment towards the end that comes out of nowhere. In addition, it's frequently laugh out loud funny and there's great support from Brian McGuire (as Wilson's remarkably understanding housemate Jacob) and Robert Murphy as Vivian's redneck ex-boyfriend.
On top of everything else, the black and white photography looks gorgeous and it's a real novelty to see a film set in L.A that involves so much walking.
In Search of a Midnight Kiss is a well written, beautifully acted indie drama that's romantic, heartbreaking and laugh out loud funny in equal measure. Highly recommended and easily one of the best films of the year.
In Search Of A Midnight Kiss (15)