Two Night Stand
Sexist and uninspired rom-com starring Analeigh Tipton and Miles Teller
The morning after her first one night stand, Megan (Analeigh Tipton) is desperate to leave the Brooklyn apartment of her conquest Alec (Miles Teller), but a blizzard stands in the way of her escape. Trapped together, the mismatched pair are forced to while away the hours and... well, you can guess the rest.
Of course you can, because Two Night Stand is as generic as they come. Billed as a romantic comedy, there's little to raise a smile and not much to love in this adolescent-male meet-cute fantasy. Mark Hammer's screenplay is over-engineered to strike a carefree tone – Alec and Megan get high, dance, steal noodles from the neighbours, etc – but is instead cloying and awkward.
Such cutesy characterisations are legion in rom-com; Megan might as well have 'manic pixie dream girl' tattooed across her forehead, while Alec is exactly the kind of affable dope to win over such an impossible creature. That makes it no less disappointing to see yet another new screenwriter resorting to tired clichés. There are several allusions, for example, to Megan being a slut for instigating her sexual encounter and, despite her free-spiritedness, the entire premise of the film rests on the fact that she can only be happy in the company of a man. That she succumbs to Alec's dubious charms, despite his awful behaviour, simply adds insult to injury.
There's always a temptation to ignore such issues in a film as slight as this, and to instead take comfort in the feel-good schmaltz of a happy ending, however implausible and formulaic. But not only does Two Night Stand's screenplay peddle an out-of-touch patriarchal ideal to its young demographic, it also gives debut director Max Nichols – son of Mike – absolutely nothing to work with. Whatever you make of its gender politics, it's simply not a good film.
Selected release from Fri 13 Feb.