First night on the job as a doorman in an apartment building in Manhattan, James (Jason Torres) is trying to make a good impression. It’s a trial night subbing in for the usual guy, Wally. James is good looking, well dressed, neatly groomed, polite, bright, cheerful, and helpful. The night ahead of him will test all these qualities in the film Night Job.
“The film that unfurls winds up being a long form sitcom full of amusing characters and vignettes…”
James is obsessed with a woman his friends tell him is not romantically interested in him as he gets text reports on her sexual activities throughout the night from his helpful amigos. He feels that she has “friend-zoned” him and he steers all of his conversations around to her and his weak game with women.
The film that unfurls winds up being a long form sitcom full of amusing characters and vignettes around James as people enter and leave the building. James juggles angry tenants, scam artists, the homeless, insane priests, cops, and is constantly trying to locate the night porter, Romeo (Greg Kritikos) who always seems to be in the middle of a critical job when James calls. Romeo actually has this night job thing figured, from sex in the stairwell to watching cat videos on his phone, he’s out there somewhere takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.
“There’s no real plot as such, just the colorful parade of experiences in shades of gray that float by in the night.”
Director J. Antonio and Torres tell these stories with an easy wit and humor. The atmosphere of the film calls back Clerks in a serious way. The dialog has that stilted stylish New York affect, where the actors are trying a little too hard, acting like actors. The amateurish winking at the viewer is fun, familiar, and comfortable.
There’s no real plot as such, just the colorful parade of experiences in shades of gray that float by in the night.
When James falls asleep he dreams in color. Someone told him women like bold gangsters so in his dream he gets the most beautiful woman at a party by offering her drugs and telling her how dangerous he is. When he wakes up again he is plain old James, the guy who’s too nice.
Antonio shot in black and white except for the dream sequence, which is in ironic color. Night Job is an amusing diversion made with heart and skill, very well done for a first film.
Night Job (2017) Written and Directed by J. Antonio. Starring: Jason Torres, Greg Kritikos, Larese King.
7 out of 10