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Originally published Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

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Movie review

'Overnight': You might want to sleep through this red-eye flight

A movie review of "Overnight," a hopelessly ill-conceived rom-com that begs us to believe that a handsome astrophysics professor (James D'Arcy) and a goofy blonde (Rachel Blanchard) can meet cute and be ready for marriage before the end of their L.A.-to-New York red-eye flight.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie review 1.5 stars

'Overnight,' with Rachel Blanchard, James D'Arcy, Anthony LaPaglia, Claudia Christian. Written and directed by Valerie Breiman. 95 minutes. Rated R for language and some sexual content. Meridian, Parkway Plaza.

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With the fast-rising popularity of video-on- demand, it's a mystery when a movie like "Overnight" sneaks into theaters, if only as a weeklong blip on the box-office radar. There are hundreds of better movies available on-demand that never got any kind of theatrical exposure, making this limited-release romantic comedy a big-screen anomaly to be avoided.

Formulaic to a fault and painfully unfunny, "Overnight" begs us to believe that the world's most handsome astrophysics professor (James D'Arcy, pouring on the British charm) and a goofy American blonde freshly dumped by her boyfriend (Rachel Blanchard, pouring on the ditsy cuteness) can meet cute and be ready for marriage by the end of their L.A.-to-New York red-eye flight.

While they join the mile-high club en route to their first lover's spat, we meet more rom-com staples in first class, coach and flight deck, including a gay Arabic couple who are automatically assumed to be terrorists; a rapper flying incognito with a toy poodle; and a grumpy pilot and a sarcastic flight attendant (played respectively by Anthony LaPaglia and Claudia Christian).

The poodle gets the biggest laugh, looking sufficiently startled as he's being sucked down the jetliner's toilet. Oops ... did I spoil the gag? No worries, you can thank me later.

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