Too Much Sleep, a first feature written and directed by Filipino-American director David Maquiling, is a low-key character study about a 24-year-old suburban man still teetering on the brink of maturity.

Jack (Marc Palmieri) is a little too old to be still living with his mom in Matawan, New Jersey--most of the movie was shot in that town--and working nights as a security guard. But Jack's humdrum routine takes a sharp turn one morning when he boards his suburban bus, catches the eye of an attractive woman and, minutes later, realizes that his gun has been stolen.

Rather than report the missing firearm according to police procedure, Jack seeks out a shady local figure called Eddie (Pasquale Gaeta), a lawn-chair couch potato who reportedly has ties to organized crime. Eddie agrees to get in touch with some of his pals, drawing Jack into the criminal fringes of suburban New Jersey.

As the plot unfolds, Jack recalls the young woman who may have been on the bus when his revolver was lifted. Later, Jack meets up with this very same woman, Kate (Nicol Zanzarella), and strikes up a conversation with her. Meanwhile, Eddie is keeping an eye on Jack, who seems attracted to Kate but is still trying to piece it all together. Did Kate, in fact, have something to do with the disappearing gun? Was she even on the same bus?

As familiar as Too Much Sleep might be--Gaeta's performance borrows perhaps a bit too much from Joe Pesci in GoodFellas--director Maquiling displays a genuine flair for deadpan humor. But, despite some occasional laughs, there's not a lot going on here, story-wise, and there are lengthy patches of ennui that may remind some filmgoers of Chantal Akerman on a slow day. Too Much Sleep traffics in deadpan whimsy, always a risky business.

--Ed Kelleher