Writer/director Patrick Brice’s racy sex comedy, THE OVERNIGHT, was one of my biggest surprise comedies of Sundance. Thanks to a fantastic cast and completely unpredictable screenplay, the film was as entertaining as it was shocking. I mean, what other film at Sundance gave us a dueling penis dance scene? I was initially drawn to THE OVERNIGHT because I am a huge ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK fan, and I wanted to see Taylor Schilling’s movie at the festival. When I realized the Duplass brothers were producers, I was sold. But as the credits rolled, I realized I enjoyed this film as much for its multi-layered, hilarious script as I did for its casting.
Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Schilling) just moved to Los Angeles from Seattle and are having trouble making friends. “How do you make friends as an adult,” Alex wonders. When their son makes a new friend at the local playground, the couple is excited that the boy’s father Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) is just as excited to meet them! Will this be the start of a new friendship?
Kurt invites Alex and Emily over to his house for a dinner party and play-date for the kids. With a cheap wine bottle in hand, the couple arrives at Kurt’s swanky mansion, where they meet his French wife, Charlotte (Judith Godreche). The dinner party goes really well, so well in fact that the couple decides to stay late and let their son sleepover. As the action in the film progresses, and the couples begin to feel more comfortable with each other, Brice continues to one-up himself with shocking turn after shocking turn. When I thought I knew what was happening next, the movie completely surprised me. How could I know that Kurt would be interested in painting portraits of buttholes (which he calls “portals”) and that his wife’s acting gig would be as the star of breast pump instructional videos?
Believe it or not, the hilarious randomness and shocks only get crazier from there. Thanks to awesome chemistry between each couple, and a super funny script from Brice, THE OVERNIGHT is one of those movies you can tell was really fun to film. And this enthusiasm and story originality definitely rubs off on viewers.
While it certainly isn’t the type of film you will want to watch with your parents, THE OVERNIGHT was entertaining and tells a story you have definitely not seen before. Due to the film’s no-holds-barred look at a couple’s sexuality, I wonder if it will have problems securing an “R” rating from the MPAA. However, a potential NC-17 rating didn’t stop The Orchard from picking up distribution rights, and I think once it inevitably hits VOD, THE OVERNIGHT will find its audience.
My Review: B+