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The Independent Critic

Mark Boone, Jr., Michael Parks, Jake La Botz, Peter Stormare
Joe D'Augustine
91 Mins.
KHP Releasing
 "One Night With You" Review 
Fans of Jim Jarmusch are likely to enjoy "One Night With You," a hiply designed and smoothly written combination of film noir and physical comedy from first-time writer/director Joe D'Augustine that was an Official Selection of this month's Lake County Film Festival just North of Chicago.

Jake (Mark Boone Jr., "30 Days of Night") is a down on his luck hustler trying to pay off his bookie by tracking down elusive author Hunter Burnell (Michael Parks, "Grindhouse") with the help of his Black Dahlia-obsessed best friend Eddie (Jake La Botz,"Rambo"). When the two bumbling buddies find Hunter, they kidnap him and then have to try to hold onto him long enough for the big deal to take place.

Filmed largely on location in Echo Park, "One Night With You" screams out authentic Los Angeles because D'Augustine kept it real on the streets and in the back alleys of familiar L.A. Anyone who has been through the Echo Park area is likely to recognize landmark after landmark, from the tunnels to the motels, rooftops, and City Hall itself.

While film noir would seem to lean itself to the low budget world of indie filmmaking, creating a film with the style of "One Night With You" is no small task. While Jarmusch is undoubtedly the contemporary master of such filmmaking, D'Augustine redeems himself nicely with a film that looks like the underbelly of L.A. with just a touch of 50's Italian cinema courtesy of score work by Italian legends Alessandro Alessandroni and Antonello Vannucchi.

Boone and Parks lead a capable ensemble cast and Parks, in particular, nicely blends the film's darker edges with a gift for physical comedy.

While the film is smartly written and beautifully designed, it often feels a step behind in its pacing and La Botz's obsession with Black Dahlia feels out of place and contributes very little to the story or continuity. D'Augustine has an undeniable gift for dialogue and creating a cinematic atmosphere, however, on multiple occasions scenes felt as if they were either dropping off too quickly or lingering a moment too long.

Modest production quibbles aside, "One Night With You" is a promising first flick from Joe D'Augustine featuring strong performances from its leads and a killer musical score.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic