A lo-fi romantic drama that isn’t awash in self-pity or -aggrandizement, Conrad Jackson’s Falling Overnight is something of a rarity. While a movie such as last year’s Like Crazy let its early promise gradually give way to sun-kissed montages and tedious melodrama, Jackson’s mini-indie not only stays the course but also gets better throughout. It’s still subject to the same pitfalls as its ilk—namely a meet-cute, a protagonist with potentially grave health issues, and a washed-out color palette—only it doesn’t make them feel like pitfalls. Its dual leads, Elliot (Parker Croft) and Chloe (Emilia Zoryan), never come across as caricatures of either quirk or feigned normalcy; they instead seem like, well, ordinary people—sadly, a novel concept in indie romances starring good-looking twentysomethings. Jackson sometimes forgets that the things young people do as they’re falling for each other are less charming and interesting to watch than most rom-coms would have us believe, but the offense is forgivable when lines like “That’s quite a bong there” are used to break tension and cap scenes. What’s more, we actually care and wonder about these people: what makes them tick, where they’ll go after the film’s 24-hour narrative has elapsed. “I’m no surgeon, but I get the job done,” says a sagacious night watchman whose words are more implicative than they at first appear. The same is true of Falling Overnight.
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