Movie Review: The Overnight

Young parents get kinky, though awkwardly, in the amusing indie jaunt.

click to enlarge PARK PLACED: From left, Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling and Jason Schwartzman before the slumber party of their lives. - Duplass Brothers Productions
Duplass Brothers Productions
PARK PLACED: From left, Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling and Jason Schwartzman before the slumber party of their lives.

The Overnight

Stars Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godreche.
Directed and written by Patrick Brice.
Opens Friday at Tampa Theatre, AMC Woodlands and AMC Veterans.

Hyped for its full-frontal schlonginess (psst, one of 'em is a prosthetic) and hedonistic blunders, the contemporary adult comedy The Overnight captures the ennui and anxieties of two couples on a serendipitous all-nighter. Together, the 30-something parents stumble on sexual, self-esteem and interpersonal issues.

Their story begins with Alex (Adam Scott of Parks and Recreation) and Emily (Taylor Schilling of Orange Is the New Black) ambling in the throes of an awkward, comedically familiar bout of hasty lovemaking. The couple is new to L.A. and decide to venture out to a neighborhood park, where they encounter the pleasantly off-kilter Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), wearing of all things, a Stetson worn by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Kurt, who's pleased that his child is bonding with Alex and Emily’s son, invites the new couple in town over to his house for pizza.

Overly eager to impress the couple with his art, ambient effects and Mediterranean-revival estate, Schwartzman's Kurt has a childlike whimsy that becomes more charming as the film progresses. His knack for effortless multi-dimensionality comes through once again as an eccentric who might have been cloying in other hands.

Kurt's wife, Charlotte (Judith Godreche), is that blonde, svelte French actress whom women envy but is a raging hot mess inside, indulging in questionable, exploitive behavior just to feel alive. What she subjects Emily to, we'll leave out as not to give away spoilers, but suffice it to say the boundaries-challenged Kurt and Charlotte nudge their new Seattle pals way outside their comfort zone while the kids sleep soundly upstairs.

Writer-director Patrick Brice offers a script that's slightly uneven but funny and organically offbeat, revealing how a little weed and alcohol can lift the curtain on bottled-up hang-ups — and how ridiculous humans can be when thrill-seeking and novelty get the best of them.

All four actors have wonderful chemistry with each other and make us feel we're right there with them in a very strange but entertaining situation. Though unlikely, the overnight scenario becomes quite engaging and believable, thanks to Brice's intimate directorial style and natural dialogue, aided by cinematographer John Guleserian's voyeuristic lens. One can't help but think the film was a hoot to make, and the soundtrack is pretty nifty too.

Awkwardness and Cinemax-grade kinkiness notwithstanding, The Overnight succinctly captures a new friendship in the making, in all its tender and flawed wonder.