Sex comedies are usually confined to that of a terrible chick flick or bro-based movie resulting in penile jokes, gratuitous sexism and gross out nudity. When first hearing the plot for The Overnight the temptation to throw it in the same pile was there, but hearing the cast associated with this movie I hoped for something completely different.
Alex and Emily played by Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling are pleasant, enthusiastic parents, new to the area and anxious to create a great start in life for their son. At a birthday party in a playground they run into Jason Schwartzman as Kurt, a seemingly innocent and overly friendly chap, who invites the whole gang round for a playdate and pizza.
Even though the subject matter of the movie is known from the start, it’s never made clear what anyone’s actual agenda is. Consequently, there is an incredible balance of silliness and awkwardness as the audience, Alex and Emily attempt to establish what on earth the actual point of this get-together was. You will instantly form a theory as to how this ‘party’ will turn out, but the final third takes it down a path you won’t expect.
Schwartzman has been cast absolutely perfectly, bringing his trademark style of deadpan oddness to a perfectly normal couple’s night. Writer/director Patrick Brice must have had Schwartzman in mind for this role, it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else elevating this script as well as he did. Elsewhere, Adam Scott shows a welcomed return to form after what I consider to be a really bad run of films, Schwartzmans wife played by Judith Godrèche nails the seductive ambiguity of her role, and Taylor Schilling is excellent as the sceptic at the other end of this bizarre spectrum.
Naturally, there is nudity in a film of this type, but it’s used to tasteful comical effect, and doesn’t cheapen the movie to that of the bog standard sex-comedy. Clearly keeping in tune with that of Producer Mark Duplass’ other works, this low-budget, indie “rom-com”, for all its crassness, has a humbling and somewhat sentimental core.
Released on a limited theatre run in the US, this is now available on Amazon to rent worldwide. One to throw in the lazy Sunday afternoon pile, and I’m happy to say it avoids the pile of frat-based, misogynistic, gross-out dross that is usually classed as “sex-comedy”.