The Overlookers
Created by Christopher Warre Smets

"Love at first sight isn't priceless. It's negotiable."

Several interlocking stories revolving around a mysterious (and occasionally ethically suspect) New York agency called Attractions, Inc. that charges big bucks to investigate strangers whom its clients -- generally attractive twenty- and thirty-somethings -- would perhaps want to date, and then if desired set up the perfect "meet."

It isn't really a private eye film -- in fact, it's actually more of a character study. But there are some really great characters here, and perhaps the most poignant story concerns MAX CASE, the buttoned-down private investigator hired by Attractions, Inc., who ends up getting a little too close to the subject. Other stories follow a lonely, awkward web geek, a hard-bitten cynical photographer with really bad luck with men, a hotshot young businessman bored with the singles scene, a closeted lesbian in love from afar, and a young wife who discovers her husband may have only married her to get a green card..

The extremely low-budget film, which producer and local Palmdale boy Stennar Strom calls a "dark romantic comedy," was made by Canadian writer/director Christopher Warre Smets, shot in New York City and stars nobody you ever heard of... yet. But it's an enjoyable romp nonetheless, a subtle, engaging and compelling piece of business with a playful sense of humour and coincidence, and an elastic sense of time which owes as much to fellow Canadian writer/director Atom (The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica, The Adjuster) Egoyan as it does to the much ballyhooed Quentin Tarrantino. And Romano Orzari as Max serves up a great performance as the tight-lipped, hyper-intense private eye; a dark, brooding professional who doesn't get emotionally involved until -- much to his surprise -- he discovers he's already in way over his head.

The Overlookers made its American debut May 14, 2005 at the Antelope Valley Independent Film Festival. It has already won the best feature award at the Canadian Filmmakers Festival in Toronto the previous year.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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