Synopsis: Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family “playdate” becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on.
Release Date: June 19, 2015 MPAA Rating: PG-13
After Patrick Brice’s first movie, the horror-tinged Creep, made a splash at South by Southwest last year, the writer/director decided to try something completely different for his second feature. He decided to tackle traditional comedy, and the resulting film is The Overnight.
The Overnight stars Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) and Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black”) as Alex and Emily, a couple who has recently relocated to Los Angeles with their toddler son. While at a park one afternoon, they meet Kurt and Charlotte (Jason Schwartzman from Moonrise Kingdom and Judith Godrèche from Stoker, respectively), an eccentric couple who invites them over for dinner and a playdate with their son. Alex and Emily are reluctant as first, but soon decide to throw caution to the wind and accept the invitation. They soon learn that Kurt and Charlotte are even stranger than they thought, and after the kids go to bed, things get really weird for the adults. After some skinny dipping, some wine, and some weed, the four adults wind up getting to know each other better than they had ever anticipated.
Patrick Brice’s screenplay for The Overnight is a little schizophrenic. It’s full of lowbrow humor and playground gags, but tries to turn the corner and become deep and philosophical as the night goes on. As the pizza leads to alcohol and the alcohol leads to marijuana, the characters get more and more honest with each other and start to reveal their deepest insecurities and their darkest secrets. Once the secrets start coming out, however, the film gets way too predictable in its attempts to shock the viewer in the name of supposed comedy. Unfortunately, the humor takes away from the heart that the movie tries to establish, and the philosophical angle hurts the comedy. The Overnight tries to have both humor and meaning, but fails at establishing either.
The Overnight isn’t a bad movie, it just lacks focus, and so it ends up coming off like an episode of an annoying reality show, or an 8mm home movie of a party. Luckily, it’s a short film, less than 80 minutes, so it doesn’t lack focus for too long. And it does have a few good laughs, if jokes about masturbation and penis size are your thing. The Overnighters is the cinematic equivalent of the punk band Blink-182; it’s not a think piece, but it’s enjoyable enough under the right circumstances.
Because there are basically only four characters in The Overnight, the film relies heavily on the core actors to tell the story. Quite frankly, the chemistry between the four principals is easily the best element in the film. There is a noticeable opposites-attract type of a thing between the characters, with the insecure couple of Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling being drawn to the more worldly and extroverted Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche. When the four characters are all together, there’s a fun energy between them, but when they divide up into pairs, that energy turns into sexual tension, even between the two guys and two gals. Overall, it just looks like The Overnight was probably a lot more fun to make than it is to watch, and most of that is because the cast members seem to genuinely enjoy being around each other.
Most of the comedy in The Overnight is potty humor. For those who find that kind of stuff funny, it’s well done, but those are the types of lowbrow gags that should be expected. Just about every one of the jokes and gags in the film revolves around some body part, whether it’s Charlotte’s job as an actress in breast milk pump instructional videos or Kurt’s abstract paintings of human anuses. Even the dialogue is packed with sexual innuendo and perverted double-speak – when Kurt offers Emily a drink, he of course does it by asking her “Emily, can I get you a stiff one?” Keeping with the fun, The Overnight also features the silliest prosthetic penis seen in a movie since Boogie Nights. The humor is all very sophomoric. That doesn’t mean it isn’t funny, just that it’s brainless comedy, and brainless comedy that has been done a million times (and done better). There’s no higher meaning in The Overnight, just raunchy fun.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Patrick Brice
- Producer(s): Naomi Scott
- Screenwriter(s): Patrick Brice
- Cast: Adam ScottTaylor SchillingJason Schwartzman Judith Godrèche
- Editor(s): Christopher Donlon
- Cinematographer: John Guleserian
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Julian Wass
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA