The Overnighters (2014)
Directed by Jesse Moss
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***
The Overnighters is an interesting look at small town Americana and whether the religious doctrine "love thy neighbor" can be truly realized in a small community. Pastor Jay himself is a bit of a flawed character, finding it difficult to fully balance his family life, religious life, and "overnighter" life, but his commitment to what he feels his right with his overnighter program trumps everything. And it may end up being his ultimate downfall if the townsfolk have their way.
Rather oddly, the film takes a sharp 180-degree turn in its final ten minutes. Granted, with this being a documentary, director Jesse Moss didn't quite know where his real-life subject would take him, but the inclusion of this feels a bit odd and an unfitting coda to all we've seen before. What was once a film that had Pastor Jay at the center but was really about the people the pastor was helping and the community that was against him shifts squarely onto Pastor Jay himself and it's a bit of a disconcerting notion.
This unfortunate end perhaps unfairly tarnishes The Overnighters as it ends what was otherwise a solid story on a disappointing note. This one ends up being lukewarm as opposed to worth-watching.
The RyMickey Rating: C