Directed by Patrick Brice. Starring Taylor Schilling, Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Judith Godrèche.
THE PLOT: Two weeks after they move to LA, and still friendless, Emily (Taylor Schilling) and Alex (Adam Scott) encounter Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and his son Max (Max Moritt) at the park. Kurt invites the couple over to meet his wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) and have dinner with them. Excited at the potential of making new friends, Alex and Emily accept, without realising that their new pals have a little more than food on the menu.
THE VERDICT: Fresh from TV successes, Taylor Schilling and Adam Scott play similar characters to those we have seen the play before; as Emily, Schilling is nervous and cautious, while Scott is slightly awkward but warm and trusting. Jason Schwartzman plays Kurt as pretentious and full of hot air, but manages to make Kurt more endearing and interested in people than Philip in his last outing Listen Up Philip. Judith Godrèche is as pretentious as Schwartzman to an extent, but still manages to make Charlotte engaging, despite all her flaws and shortcomings.
Patrick Brice’s screenplay feels as though it has borrowed from Roman Polanski’s CARNAGE, and last year’s CHEAP THRILLS; keeping the characters confined in a rambling house until the truth is finally revealed. There are some lazy devices used throughout the film – there are two montages before the film is even 35 minutes in – but the uncomfortable feeling is allowed to build throughout. There are times when it is unclear whether the tone of the film is supposed to be comedic or awkward, but this is resolved in the final moments of the film with a laugh out loud cringey moment.
As director, Patrick Brice treads the line between comedy, mystery and awkwardness rather well. There are times when the film feels predictable and glaringly obvious, but then through careful twists, the audience find themselves in new territory once more. The concept and execution of the film are stretched rather thin though, leaving THE OVERNIGHT feeling drawn out, even in its 75 minute running time.
In all, THE OVERNIGHT tries to be a clever sex comedy, and almost succeeds. The cast are great in their roles, although they feel rather familiar, but there are times when the concept and execution of the film feel as though they are stretched to the limit.
Review by Brogen Hayes

The Overnight
Review by Brogen Hayes
3.0Almost a clever comedy
  • filmbuff2011

    ‘Sundance’s best sex comedy!’ proclaims Rolling Stone from the over-excited trailer for The Overnight. It must have been a busy year for sex comedies there. Not that there’s much to get excited about. A seemingly normal couple move with their children to California. Alex (Adam Scott) is laid back but suffering from image issues, while his wife Emily (Taylor Schilling) is a bit too tightly wound. In the park, they make new friends in the form of hipster artist Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and his liberal French wife Charlotte (Judith Godreche). Friendly and enthusiastic, they invite Alex and Emily over to their place for dinner that evening. When the children are put to bed, the two couples get to know each other a lot better. Perhaps more than Alex and Emily at first imagined, with awkward results. Things get hazy in clouds of pot and Alex and Emily start to loosen up in the company of these cool Californians. Then they all decide to go skinny-dipping in the swimming pool. That’s just how dinner parties go in California. As the long night wears on, will Alex and Emily be the same after all this, given the mutual attraction between all four of them? The Overnight tries hard to be funny and cool, but it’s really just a flimsy distraction from a thinly-plotted and poorly-written script by director Patrick Brice. It barely even stretches to feature length, just about reaching the 80-minute mark. At least it’s mercifully short, though it feels longer than it actually is. The game cast try their best, but there’s not a lot that they can do here to improve the situation. There’s no sense of these characters possibly existing in the real world – they seem to inhabit another world entirely of their own, with a dodgy moral compass. Just when it looks like this juvenile film might actually be heading into proper adult territory, it cops out. There is at least one good laugh at the expense of the filmmakers – the patently fake male genitalia. Maybe it was deliberate, but scenes with them provide the only decent laughs. The rest of it is pretty lame and unconvincing. There’s nothing to recommend about this lazy and uninspired ‘comedy’. Awful. *