Directed by John Heath
Written by Anthony Montes
Starring Anthony Montes, Toby Maka, Marlene Mc'Cohen, Johnny Williams, Ciera Danielle, Ryan Neil Conklin, Brian Lally, Eunice Olsen, Sam Fox, Joe Penny, Cynthia Bravo, Sam Lafrance, & Suzanne Kent
Indie Film Review by Chris Olson
"Real Italian leather...from Italy"
Calamity and comedy ensue in the riotously enjoyable indie film The Last Night Inn. Written by Anthony Montes, and directed by John Heath, there is a marvellous blend of comedic genres that taps into other theatrical motifs, to deliver a film that could have been lifted right off of Broadway.
Set almost entirely in and around a seedy motel, the audience is given multiple narrative threads to follow, each occupying a different room or section within The Last Night Inn. The occupants (and employee) range in terms of their reasons for being there, but all have an entertaining and (mostly) hilarious plot to suffer through. Such as the clumsy gangster duo (Montes and Toby Maka) that have performed a kidnapping on the wrong person, leaving them in a perilous predicament when the girl turns out to be a mob boss's lover (Marlene Mc'Cohen). The trio enjoy some hugely enjoyable banter whilst trying to figure out how they will proceed.
Another storyline is a man (Ryan Neil Conklin) who is in the process of purchasing a night with a lady of the night (Ciera Danielle), however, there could be more than meets the eye to this supposed exchange. In a different room, there is a separate, but equally engaging, plot about a sting operation about the be sprung.
The funniest thread, though, is a woman (Suzanne Kent), who is attempting to commit suicide but failing miserably. Her slapstick theatrics and near-silent comedy timing is simply superb!
One of the aspects to The Last Night Inn which separates it from other comedy films of this ilk, is the confidence in the script to include longer scenes. Given that this is a multiple narrative movie, it would have been easy to cut away regularly and avoid having to stay with the characters - for fear of losing the audience's attention. However, Montes's script has some fantastic characters and dialogue that is given plenty of time to shine. The outcome is something more akin to a hit stage comedy than a hokey indie comedy.
There was a slight soap opera feel to some of the sequences that fell just on the wrong side of being silly rather than witty. And a couple of the performers felt a little rigid delivering their lines. Some viewers may not enjoy the gangster cliches, whilst others will find them incredibly endearing. It must be said that many of the performances were excellent comedy turns. Additionally, some of the dramatic performances were really engaging, in particular Brian Lally.
A little on the fun side of filmmaking, Heath delivers one of the most formidable comedy films of the year.