Saturday, September 12, 2015

Catching Up: "The Overnight"

 1.5 / 5 

For a movie that has very little on its mind except penises, pot and boobies, The Overnight is remarkably dull.

A half-century after Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, here's another film about the sexual curiosity of long-married couples.  The Overnight seems to think it's on to something new and slightly naughty by revealing that people who have been married for a long time might have sexual desires beyond the confines of matrimony.  It titters and tee-hees at sexual proclivities, and seems almost embarrassed by the truths it's trying to reveal.

The Overnight stars Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling as a nice little couple from Seattle who move with their toddler to a tiny little apartment in Los Angeles.  The movie's writer and director, Patrick Bice, apparently thinks Seattle is the new Sheboygan, because there's rarely been a more square, more awkward, less sophisticated couple of people to come to L.A.  They're as sweet as can be, and, golly-gosh, they are just so excited to make friends when the mildly creepy Jason Schwartzman, wearing a nouveau-Hasidic hat, comes up to them in the park one fine afternoon.

Soon enough, they're having dinner with the weird, rich Schwartzman character and his French wife, while their sons play upstairs.  They put the kids to bed.  Then things get progressively weirder.

Schwartzman shows Scott the wacko pictures he paints in his studio.  They're human sphincters, ha ha, and Scott thinks they're golly-gosh interesting.  Stoned and drunk, Schwartzman talks Scott into taking his clothes off for some pictures, while the wives talk dirty to each other in another part of the house.  Before you know it, they're skinny dipping.

This is the big moment for The Overnight: The men take off their clothes, and the film seems to build and build with frenzied excitement as it prepares to show us ... penises!  Oh, the movie loves its penises, and seems downright gleeful to reveal that both actors are wearing prosthetic penises, which look like something designed by someone who's never really seen a penis.  Boy, this movie spends a lot of time talking about penises -- a lot of time.  Really, an unbelievable amount of time.

The Overnight has a prurient, slightly worrisome view of sex, which it presents as something to be embarrassed and ashamed about.  Watching the movie is like listening to some junior-high boys talk about breasts and dicks and all the things they imagine they're going to do when they get older.

What The Overnight fails to do is offer any insight -- comedic, dramatic or otherwise -- into the lives of its characters.  The actors seem genuinely committed to the concept, and they're all engaging enough, but there's nothing to do except read the lines.  The whole thing is only slightly better than watching a self-funded play in a tiny Melrose Avenue theater.  It's uncomfortable, slightly embarrassing, and even though it only lasts 79 minutes, it's as irritatingly endless as the night it depicts.

Viewed Sept. 11, 2015 -- Amazon Instant Video

No comments:

Post a Comment