The Overnight review

Sundance 2015 has barely begun but already, sex is everywhere. Straight, gay, exploratory, odd, difficult, and, whenever possible, hilarious. It’s all here at the fest and The Overnight (not to be confused with doc The Overnighters) fits right in.

Beginning with a couple played by Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling frantically rushing through morning sex before their kid bursts into the room, this is the movie where you’ll see Scott and Jason Schwartzman dance together naked. Like, totally naked. OK, actually about 98% naked. That other 2% is a visual gag carries a hefty comic punch and casts a long shadow over the rest of the story. Even better is a free-sprited, swinging performance from Schwartzman, who bats around the comic stereotype of the LA “cool dad” like a kid with a balloon.

The Overnight is a wild, very funny caricature of the supreme awkwardness of allowing yourself to be truly vulnerable in front of the person you love the most.

Alex and Emily (Scott and Schilling) have just moved from Seattle to Los Angeles. They’re worried about the change. How do they make friends? Where does their son go to school? Are people in LA really that much different from everyone else? Enter Kurt (Schwartzman), the dictionary image of the hipster parent. His playground meeting with the nervous couple quickly becomes an invitation to dinner. Their kids get along, so let them play while the parents have some booze and pizza.

An underlying sexual tension is palpable from the first minutes of the couple’s welcome to Kurt’s home, and through their introduction to his wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche). Kurt is just so California loose; Charlotte deploys her toothy smile and middle-distance stare too liberally. What the hell do these weirdos really want? A few different things, as it turns out.

Writer/director Patrick Brice draws out the reveals, but The Overnight isn’t just an exercise in shock comedy. Together the raunch, the nudity, and bizarre situations all sketch a big cartoon that is really about partners talking to one another. The heart of this movie hopes that people might be able to reveal to one another all the thoughts they’re afraid will ruin a relationship. Because allowing them to fester is, in the long term, far more painful and damaging.

But hey, whoa, got serious there for a second. By all means, enjoy the Scott and Schilling alternately withering and swelling due to social and sexual tension. Laugh at the paintings of unlikely body parts, and a wonderfully uncomfortable show and tell session involving Charlotte’s acting career. A bit like seeing The One I Love in a drunken makeout session with Cheap Thrills, The Overnight is couples therapy reflected in a funhouse mirror.

/Film score: 7 out of 10

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

About the Author

Russ Fischer lives in Los Angeles. For film reviews, the 1-10 scale breakdown goes like this: anything over a 5 is positive. (twitter.com/russfischer) or (russ.slashfilm at gmail.com)