Review: The Overnight
PLOT: Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) are new to L.A and anxious to make friends. A playdate for their son with the child of a hip couple (Jason Schwartzman & Judith Godrèche) quickly turns into a night of adult debauchery and fun, where lines will be crossed but maybe that's not such a bad thing.
REVIEW:Given that director Patrick Brice made a breakthrough earlier this year with the microbudget horror film CREEP, when I heard the title of his next film was THE OVERNIGHT and saw the first still image, which is a moody shot of Schilling draped in neon orange light looking through a hole in the wall, I assumed this was another genre hybrid. Rather, it's a complete change of pace where it's a quick (eighty minutes), surprisingly daring sexual comedy that in a way, is like a post-sexual revolution's BOB, TED, CAROL & ALICE.
Like a lot of films at Sundance this year, it's tightly cast, with no speaking roles for anyone outside the star quartet. The Duplass brothers are onboard as producers, and their influence is clearly felt in that it's entirely concerned with the romantic entanglements and issues of a young married couple. Yet, Brice takes things further than the Duplass' brothers have in the past, with the focus here being on each couple's sexual compatibility, which is appropriate for where society seems to be at these days, where sexual preference isn't always as cut n' dried as simply gay or straight.?
If all of this sounds a little heady, don't be fooled. THE OVERNIGHT, while sophisticated in its exploration of sexuality, is actually very funny. All four actors are perfectly cast, with Scott and ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK's Schilling playing the more traditional married couple, with Schwartzman and the stunning Godrèche are the more adventurous pair.
Both sets of partners have tremendous chemistry, and everyone no matter how weird things get remains entirely likable and kinda charming. Schwartzman in particular is clearly having a ball playing the flamboyant Kurt, who doesn't think twice about showing the more staid couple his paintings of buttholes, or videos showing his wife topless. Scott also gives a pretty brave performance, with his displaying some pretty daring full-frontal nudity, even if I'm thinking the item at question is artificial.
Between this and CREEP, Patrick Brice is shaping up to be an interesting guy to watch. Even with a genre film like CREEP, his work has a kind of authenticity that's rare. It's a totally convincing piece of work and even when things start to get a little nuts it feels believable, thanks to the writing with is stunningly free of phoniness or convention and the acting, which is so easygoing and natural that you can't help but identify with all the characters by the time the credits roll, and maybe yearn to spend another all-nighter with them.
It'll be interesting to see which distributor winds up picking up THE OVERNIGHT. It's sexual frankness may pose a challenge but really it shouldn't as this is stuff we probably should be talking about in the mainstream but simply don't. Hopefully this won't get slapped with too restrictive a rating, but even if it does, an online platform may make that factor redundant. It's a really fun film and an absolute must see for any fans of the actors involved.