DVD Review: The Overnight

This is California. Maybe this is what dinner parties are like.”

An innocent pizza party turns into a lot more in “The Overnight,” a supposed comedy that one critic aptly referred to as a “hipster horror film.”

Alex, Emily and son RJ are a young, middle class family new to Los Angeles from Seattle. Emily (Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”) is the breadwinner while Alex (Adam Scott, not the golfer, “Parks & Recreation”) is a stay-at-home dad.

The pair has a chance meeting with Kurt (Jason Schwartzman, every indie movie), a free-spirited somehow millionaire in a wide-brimmed hat, and his son Max at the neighborhood park, and are invited over for some dinner and chat about local schools.

An early laugh comes when Alex and Emily walk up Kurt’s long driveway while scraping the label off of a $2 bottle of wine.

Kurt and his beautiful, flirtatious French wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche, “The Man in the Iron Mask”) live in an eclectic mansion where he filters his own water out of sewage and makes paintings of people’s, um, anatomy. Kurt and Charlotte are the envy of Alex and Emily, who seem to be as intimately affectionate as when they were in their 20s, but things aren’t always as they appear in this house.

After the pizza is gone, and the children are tucked into bed (“This is a French house,” they say, where children don’t dictate when the night ends), the adults get into some wine, some marijuana, an instructional breast pump video starring Charlotte and some skinny dipping.

Alex and Emily don’t feel comfortable skinny dipping because they are uptight Americans, while Kurt and Charlotte let it all hang out. After some more alcohol, Alex explains his refusal to disrobe, which leads to a cringingly funny scene involving techno music, male nudity and movie magic.

Things get more and more bizarre as the night progresses, and we assumed that the couples would end up swapping, but the film is fortunately more unpredictable than that.

The tension comes to a head when Emily accuses Alex of ogling Charlotte, and Alex accuses Kurt of eyeing his wife — which turns out not to be the case.

Schilling’s character watches in WASPy horror at everything that goes on in this couple’s manse, not unlike how Piper in “Orange is the New Black” first views prison. Eventually, both characters come around.

But it is Schwarzman who steals the show here, as he gets most of the good lines in writer and director Patrick Brice’s script.

“The Overnight” isn’t any more explicit than what you would see on any HBO or Netflix series, but we wouldn’t watch it when the kids are awake. And if you learn anything from the movie, there are certain things you just don’t do unless you are certain that they are asleep.

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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