- Emma Simmonds
- 22 June 2015
Hilarious if slight swingers comedy starring Taylor Schilling and Adam Scott
With a cheeky tagline that urges us to 'pucker up', The Overnight doesn't want to woo you, or at least not in the conventional sense. Patrick Brice's follow-up to his found-footage horror debut Creep forces its audience and central duo through a gauntlet of sometimes spectacular excruciation in a film that's painfully funny and brilliantly performed.
Leaning perhaps a little too heavily on its actors' established comic personas, The Overnight jumps straight into a premise that couldn't be more slender, as the happily married couple-next-door are seduced by a pair of wealthy oddballs. Emily and Alex (Taylor Schilling and Adam Scott) are new to LA; he's a stay-at-home dad who's keen to make connections and they're both taken aback when one day at the park his wish comes true – they're approached by confident entrepreneur Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), who invites them over for dinner with him and his French wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche). The candour of their hosts is a bit bemusing but the evening provides a welcome chance to kick-back, and Emily and Alex are charmed by their eccentric new friends. However, after their kids have been put to bed, things take a turn towards the awkwardly fruity.
The cast are on fire as writer-director Brice blends insane scenarios with credible responses. Unfortunately, the trade-off for the film's appealing limberness is that it feels somewhat superficial, like there's more to explore and say here, with The Overnight teetering somewhere between an overextended short and an undercooked feature. It might lack meat on its bones dramatically but Brice recognises and fully exploits the rich vein of comedy inherent in the conceit; whether it's with butthole paintings, breast pumps or penis size he confidently takes us from nervous titters to hearty guffaws in a deliciously squirm-inducing film that delivers healthy helpings of bad-taste fun.
Selected release from Fri 26 Jun.