Raunchy sex comedies are a dime a dozen, but the hysterically funny “The Overnight” is far from a typical film of the genre. Rather than depicting the exploits of horny teenagers, “The Overnight” is a decidedly adult film, and the filmmakers make sure we know that from the opening scene.
The film opens with workaholic Emily (Taylor Schilling from “Orange Is the New Black“) and her husband/stay-at-home dad, Alex (Adam Scott from “Parks & Recreation“), having awkward sex, doing all they can to finish before their kids burst in and ruin the fun.
They just moved from Seattle to Los Angeles and don’t know anybody in the area, and they joke about how they could use some friends their own age.
Enter Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), an organic, artisanal, juicing LA hipster father who practically reeks charisma. After Kurt’s kids hit it off at the park with Alex and Emily’s, Kurt invites the couple over for dinner and they graciously accept, and that’s when things get a little weird.
As you may have guessed from the title, the exploits in “The Overnight” take place over the course of one evening. It becomes clear pretty quickly that Kurt and his (very French) wife, Charlotte, did not invite Alex and Emily over for a traditional meal — they have other, dirtier plans.
Once the kids are put to bed and the drinks start to flow, Kurt and Charlotte’s flirtation sparks Alex and Emily’s intrigue, and the comedic tension and number of laughs escalate until the film reaches its wildly satisfying finale.
While the story may sound unremarkable on paper, the chemistry among the film’s stars makes it stand out. Schwartzman gives undoubtedly the funniest performance of his career, and huge laughs stem from the sheer ludicrousness of his character.
Even though his role is not as outwardly comical as Schwartzman’s, Scott is also hilarious and gets plenty of great lines. Schilling plays it pretty straight, but everyone truly gets a chance to shine. It’s a real ensemble piece, and the interplay between everyone is so much fun to watch.
Among the poignant deconstruction of modern relationships, “The Overnight” peppers in a lot of lowbrow humour. Running gags involve a prosthetic penis, paintings that look more like colonoscopy results, and a bizarre massage sequence.
What’s amazing about these moments is that in context they totally work and are genuinely funny. The jokes are there only because they help add to these character’s identities — the laughs are earned.
There’s a real vulnerability to the film and these characters that gives it a certain charm. It’s a testament to the sharp writing and unique perspective that, despite their outlandishness, even the film’s raciest scenes are rendered completely natural and real in the moment.
Great films often engage with ideas outside of the status quo, but rarely do they do so with a grace that makes the audience question their own inhibitions.
Ultimately, the element that keeps “The Overnight” so fun and engaging is the careful, steady reveal of information. We spend just the right amount of time soaking up these characters and their beliefs that when caution is thrown to the wind, it’s impossible to not just smile and watch how they deal with it.
Watch the trailer below.
“The Overnight” debuts at the Angelika Film Center in NY on June 19th and will open June 26th in select cities. For full theatre rollout information click here.
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