At times, "Too Much Sleep" strains for seriousness. But most of the time, the movie aims for sardonic humor, supplied by the oddball, endearing characters. As a first offering from writer/director David Maquiling, the movie is solid indie fare.
To pull viewers into the story, Maquiling uses Jack as a cipher. You find yourself seeing the movie through Jack's eyes as he trudges around suburban New Jersey looking for the lost gun. During the search, Jack uncovers a series of clues leading back to an attractive woman (Nicol Zanzarella) he met on the bus.
As he faces a crossroad in his life, Jack is fairly clueless. He needs Eddie, something that could also be said about the movie. For without Gaeta, it would be run-of-the-mill. Gaeta strikes a brilliant comic balance between teacher and hustler, playing a streetwise father figure trying to guide Jack into maturity. It's a wonderfully verbal performance that gives the impression it was improvised on the spot.
The blonde, bland Palmieri, on the other hand, doesn't leave much of an impression. But he's an Everyman, so his inability isn't as glaring.
Momentum slows down in the last half-hour as Jack finds himself drawn into an affair with the mystery woman. Maquiling hasn't thought out a cogent ending, a disappointment that can't be ignored. Starring Marc Palmieri, Pasquale Gaeta and Nicol Zanzarella. Directed and written by David Maquiling. Produced by Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente. A Shooting Gallery release. Comedy. Unrated. Running time: 81 min.