Night Job

Things are starting to look up for James (Jason Torres). He's had to take a break from college, but he's just finished training for his new job, working as a doorman for a New York apartment building. As the title says, though, this is a night job, and he isn't used to working the graveyard shift, plus he was called in at the last minute to cover for someone who was sick, so when he starts his shift he's already been awake all day. And when the very first person you have to deal with is a priest (Robert Youngren) saying he's there for the exorcism, you know you're in for quite a night.

There are plenty of other problems, too, from clogged toilets to con artists, and James does his best to face them all. The one person who should be helping him, night porter Romeo (Greg Kritikos) can hardly be bothered to answer when James calls him. A man who works nearby tells horror stories about Wally, the person who usually works the shift.

Residents expect James to handle everything from the ongoing noise dispute between Apartment 812 (Aleka Hart) and Apartment 912 (Anna Bakunova) to informing another tenant (Joshua Williams) that his girlfriend (Morgan Page) has broken up with him and is kicking him out. Mr. Jones (Timothy J. Cox) even drags poor James into an argument between Jones and his girlfriend, Giselle (Sabrina Dandridge), though since she's a top contender for Craziest Character I can understand wanting to have some backup. But at least Stella (Bettina Skye) is there to help James out with some interesting advice.

Then there are the random New Yorkers James meets, from tourists with issues to petty thieves, psychics, and employees of the local convenience store. Through it all, James is pining over the girl he likes, who, according to his friend, is off partying with any guy who isn't James. It's all great material for the book he's trying to write, but first he needs to get through his shift in one piece.

I'll give it four and a quarter out of five. It's a wonderful slice of life film that ranges from zany to bittersweet and back again, each encounter shaking things up in new ways. The acting ability is variable, but I'm guessing there wasn't a single person involved who wasn't having fun with their role, and it shows. James is earnest, friendly, and you can't help rooting for him through it all. Best of all, the script manages to be bizarre without reaching ridiculous, staying just realistic enough to make you marvel at how anyone can survive working a night job in New York. Let's hope the pay is decent, at least.

Image: 
Local bodega employees initiate James into the bizarro world of the night shift.

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Sounds like something Jason

Sounds like something Jason would do.

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