“Do yourself a favor and skip this one. Anything would be better, even just catching up on some sleep.”
At its most basic level, Too Much Sleep is about a guy searching for his stolen gun. Presumably, writer/director David Maquiling was also trying for some larger meaning or greater significance. Regrettably, he didn’t achieve it. He didn’t even come close.
Jack Crawford (Marc Palmieri), a night watchman, has his gun stolen while riding the bus home one morning. Thus begins a long, meandering story in which Jack tracks down various oddballs and weirdoes, attempting to recover the gun.
All of this occurs in an aluminum-sided, shag-carpeted, factory-furnitured suburbia. Forget the perfectly satirized suburbs of American Beauty, The Ice Storm, or even Happiness; while those films deftly juxtaposed the seamless façades with the ugliness underneath and the complex citizens who inhabit them, Too Much Sleep presents a garish, ugly place filled with bizarre stereotypes. It’s the neighborhood of Welcome to the Dollhouse without the compelling characters.
In their place is a series of one-dimensional caricatures who are introduced, express their innermost feelings, then disappear, never to be seen again. In Jack’s world, total strangers share deep conversations upon first meeting. These characters are poorly executed plot devices, inserted simply to get Jack from one ridiculous situation to the next.
There isn’t an ounce of continuity in the entire film. Jack’s job is a perfect example. It is merely the plot device enabling the introduction of a gun (and a flimsy one at that: since when do security guards carry revolvers?). Nevertheless, he goes to work once, then never returns.
Similarly, a girl Jack sees on a bus at the beginning of the film drives him home in her car later. Why was she on the bus? Apparently only to steal his gun.
The biggest problem with Too Much Sleep is it feels like a bunch of independent ideas (which must have seemed funny to someone at some point) in need of a unifying script. Every situation in the film feels completely contrived. Nothing happens naturally, characters don’t behave consistently, and each move seems anticipated. You can practically see the carefully placed extras waiting in the background for their cue to start acting.
The film does succeed in one area: it is equally insulting to Jews, Asians, the Irish, gays, blacks and Indians. While there’s definitely a place for political incorrectness nowadays, it is used here as simply an excuse to tell really stupid, racist jokes. Do yourself a favor and skip this one. Anything would be better, even just catching up on some sleep.