Continuing a collaboration between helmer/co-writer Dave Boyle and musician-turned-thesp Goh Nakamura that began with last year’s “Surrogate Valentine,” “Daylight Savings” offers more of the drolly comic black-and-white same. Pic has some funnier incidents than the first film, as well as a little more narrative oomph within a still-loose framework. Like its predecessor, “Daylight” should travel the fest circuit en route to small-scale theatrical rollout and home-format release.
Playing himself, despite the usual closing “work of fiction” disclosure, guitar teacher and indie singer-songwriter Nakamura is introduced playing a club gig as adoring girlfriend Erika (Ayako Fujitani) looks on. He’s about to join her in Los Angeles, moving wholesale from San Francisco to step things up a notch. Unfortunately, that’s all been settled (and his S.F. apartment let go) when she suddenly decides maybe they should just be friends after all.
This upset coincides with a visit from Goh’s cousin Mike (Michael Aki), who’s going through his own relationship aftermath in quite different fashion; Mike is reliably full of bad ideas, while Goh is feeling susceptible. It doesn’t take long for Mike to lead them both into trouble on a spontaneous road trip to Las Vegas, where he wants to push Goh into hooking up with fellow indie-rock musician Yea-Ming (Yea-Ming Chen of band Dreamdate, whose pleasant songs are showcased here alongside Nakamura’s). On the way, they stop in San Juan Baptista, where Goh manages to get his guitar stolen and his playing hand crushed in a car door.
Like “Surrogate Valentine, “Daylight Savings” is amusing but slight. However, without “Valentine’s” caricatured narcissistic actor Danny (Chadd Stoops, briefly reappearing here) around to turn this into a buddy comedy, the pic more agreeably posits Nakamura as the hapless lone protagonist continually set upon by more daft personalities. Citing Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel series as an inspiration, Boyle (“White on Rice”) has said he plans on further movies with the musician-star, a prospect more appealing now; perhaps each film will also gain a little heft and bounce over the prior one.
Bill Otto’s crisp monochrome lensing highlights a well-turned low-budget tech package.