It’s been sometime since we’ve seen a really original, or even a, sex comedy of any kind well now we have one in the form of “The Overnight.” Basically a new to L.A. repressed couple from Seattle Emily and Alex (Adam Scott and Taylor Schiling) are out with their young son who meet another couple Kurt and Charlotte (Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godreche) with a young son who invite them over for a playmate for their kids. Well once the kids are asleep the adults start to play.
And when they play they do play, from the men being shown art work of rectums (just see it), to the women sneaking away to a massage parlor…OH RATS…anymore it’s a spoiler! To the men stripping down by the pool when they…OH RATS AGAIN…anymore and it’s another spoiler! Things go from bad to weird as the visiting couple starts to suspect that their hosts have something nefarious up their sleeves and it goes from dark to funny on a moment’s notice.
Credit all of this to writer/director Patrick Brice, who on a shoestring budget and shot in less than two weeks at a friend’s house he created a comedy that throws back to the days of films like Mike Nichols’ “Carnal Knowledge” or Woody Allen’s. Everything You Every Wanted To Know About Sex…But Were Afraid To Ask.” Also giving able time so the talent to ad-lib and improvise as they go along. It’s a story and film that isn’t about gags or effects it’s entirely character and dialogue driven. And, sadly, it’s the kind of film that people snuff at on their way to see “Fantastic Four,” which is sad.
But credit for helping it all move to it’s talent and there is a good bunch on display here. One of course is Adam Scott (“Parks & Recreation,” “The Aviator”) for giving his usual mix of both smart-alecy charm and smarminess to a role that could have just been another wiseacre part of Ryan Reynolds. But the true scene-stealer has to be that of Taylor Schiling herself. Displaying the same kind of naivety and vulnerability disguising what could probably be a ball of rage underneath just as she does week after week on her series “Orange is the New Black,” she goes from suspicious to deadpan without missing a beat.
It’s a comedy that’s totally dialogue and actor driven, no special effects, no over the top stunts, no gimmicky editing work, it’s all here for you to just watch and see for yourself. Do yourself a favor just try to pass by for just one day the loud disposable and give this little gem of a film a chance, who knows you just might remember what films used to really be about. Stories on display told by artists.
3 out of 4 stars
Written by Jason Greathouse