By Ty Burr
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:47 AM EDT
Nicol Zanzarella, Too Much Sleep
Credit: Too Much Sleep: Robert Mowen

Too Much Sleep

  • Movie

When we first meet Jack Crawford (Marc Palmieri), he’s spending his mornings lying inertly in his childhood bed, staring at the ceiling. He’s 24, living with Mom, and working nights as a security guard; the way his gangly frame fills the mattress suggests an infant who hasn’t yet figured out how to leave the womb. Too Much Sleep is, essentially, Jack’s coming out party: It’s a low key, low budget, pastel suburban pastiche that documents how an overgrown boy can learn (to quote the sage Frankie Valli) to walk like a man.

Jack’s gun is stolen by a babe (Nicol Zanzarella) and her con lady pal, and the hero’s subsequent pursuit constitutes both a Cook’s tour of droll New Jersey eccentricity and a shaggy dog pilgrim’s progress. This is very close to Hal Hartley territory, but writer director David Maquiling has a gentler touch. Too often, he simply parks the camera while one of his Joisey found objects natters obsessively, but if his technique is on the shaky side, he nails the larger issue of sensibility. By ”Too Much Sleep”’s climactic scene — in which the newly assured Jack chases down a loser version of himself and drubs the guy silly with a giant pink kiddie baseball bat — Maquiling has built and sustained a mood of lovely comic aplomb. Like one of its hero’s daydreams, the film evaporates on contact and leaves a serene glow.

Too Much Sleep

  • Movie
  • 80 minutes
  • David Maquiling