The Overnight

Directed By: Patrick Brice

Starring: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godrèche

We've been overdue for some weird ones at the box office.  We've had quirky movies but not those kinds of strikingly weird movies that render moviegoers speechless.  I'm talking about the kinds of movies that leave you wondering what the hell you're watching on the big screen and why you ever would have paid good money to see something like them in the first place.  Well, my luck has finally come to an end.  Oddly enough, I can blame Sundance for this.  I can blame the very same film festival that's brought us recent sensations such as Fruitvale Station, Boyhood, Whiplash, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  The moment penises started getting screen time poolside in The Overnight, all I could think about was getting to the bar at my theater, quickly.

Alex and Emily (Adam Scott & Taylor Schilling) have just moved to Los Angeles.  Having no family or personal ties in the city, they don't have any friends.  For Emily, this is fine.  The only two people she needs are her husband and her son.  Alex, on the other hand, is struggling with the concept of making new friends as an adult.  It's not so easy to walk up and ask to be someone's friend.  Things work quite easily for their son, however.  He makes a new friend on the playground one day.  Interestingly enough, the burgeoning friendship between RJ and Max (R.J. Hermes & Max Moritt) will also expand Alex and Emily's tiny social circle.

Through the boys' friendship, Alex and Emily meet Kurt and Charlotte (Jason Schwartzman & Judith Godrèche).  The longtime Californians invite Alex and Emily to their home for dinner one night.  Though reluctant and still very new to Los Angeles, the couple decides to accept the invitation.  The night begins quite well with Alex and Emily learning all about Kurt's water filtering business.  As the night progresses, the situation becomes increasingly stranger.  Alex and Emily get thorough introductions to Kurt's penchant for painting butt-holes, Charlotte's sexual proclivities in her Mommy's Milk pornographic series, and every perverted thing in between.  To make matters worse, it becomes an overnight stay.

Without a shadow of a doubt, The Overnight is the most bizarre film I've seen in ages.  Despite solid performances from its downright lovable cast, the erotic indie comedy veers left every time it should go right.  There's nothing wrong with a raunchy comedy full of dirty jokes, but filmmakers must be careful to avoid crossing the line.  With some crazy comedic setups based on wild sexual premises, it's safe to say that The Overnight crosses this bound.  Don't get me wrong though.  There's plenty of humor to be found in the well-crafted erotic indie.  It just isn't consistent as too many strange shock-and-awe will dominate moviegoers' attention.

The cast delivers the goods regardless of the odd narrative, and each of the couples has their own quirks to say the least.  For his part as Alex, Adam Scott seems to be the reasonable but somewhat experimental guy of the group.  Putting that dry brand of humor we know and love to use, he hits the mark.  We also have Taylor Schilling starring opposite Scott as Alex's wife Emily.  Fresh from season three of Orange is the New Black, Schilling is not exactly giving us the Godfather here in The Overnight. She is, however, giving us the intelligent straight arrow of the group. 

On the other side of the spectrum, we have Jason Schwartzman as the ridiculously silly Kurt.  Unfortunately for him, I see his character as the epicenter of the film's weirdness, and this certainly takes away from his performance for me.  Though he offers some humor, it's not nearly enough to make up for the awkward moments his character initiates.  Finally, Judith Godrèche delivers one sensual performance for her part as Kurt's wife Charlotte.  For a while there, I'm not sure which way her character goes given her perpetual flirtation with anyone and everyone.

I have plenty of grievances with The Overnight despite solid direction and performances from many involved.  The problem is the film's tendency to embrace the perverse and to put it front and center dangling before moviegoers' eyes.  I'll readily admit that this film is not my cup of tea.  With all of this, however, I have no choice but to give The Overnight a 0.09% rating.  Have an Old Fashioned or two with this one.