28 January 2015

Sundance 2015 Review - The Overnight (2015)

Sundance 2015
Patrick Brice
Jason Schwartzman, Patrick Brice, Taylor Schilling, Adam Scott

Patrick Brice’s The Overnight won’t be for everyone, its tale of thirty-something parents struggling to cope with family-life, a new city, and sexual frustrations definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But there’s something madly intimate about this madcap night of excess.

A young couple, Alex and Emily (played by a totally on-point Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling) move to LA with their young son full of anxiety about making new friends. Enter Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) a young well to do eccentric parent who invites the couple over for a night of pizza and wine. The pizza goes quick, but the wine keeps coming, along with some intimate revelations.

Cynics could call it a poor excuse for a group of actors to get smashed and play like kids, but stick with it and you’ll find a frankly bold liberal Friday-night film that questions how we look at, not just parenthood and monogamy, but sexuality and social boundaries too.

There’s plenty to laugh at though, not least Jason Schwartzman’s turn as water filter designing, home-building, piano-playing, asshole-painting, uber-lefty Kurt. Scott and Schilling have great chemistry but Scott and Schwartzman seem better paired as do Schilling and Judith Godreche. Which seems apt. The Overnight might look daft, but its tackling some hefty issues rarely pulled at in big-name comedies, and its dealing with them in a legitimately intimate way you probably wont find anywhere else which is testament to both the fantastic cast and Brice’s careful understanding of when to make us laugh and when to make us listen.

A booze and pot-fuelled party for adults the world over, The Overnight is actually a pretty bold 21st century comedy with more on its mind than just getting you to open up to skinny-dipping and weed. Brave stuff disguised as shameless fun.


Scott Clark

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