[This review was originally published during our Sundance 2015 coverage. It’s being re-posted to coincide with the film’s limited theatrical release.]
The Overnight represented a change of pace for my Sundance 2015 coverage as the first comedy of the week amidst an onslaught of dramas. Featuring a stellar cast comprised of Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), Jason Schwartzman (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), and Judith Godreche (Stoker), The Overnight is a well-told comedy that utilizes a plot twist the likes of which M. Night Shyamalan could never accomplish.
Director: Patrick Brice
Release Date: January 23, 2015 (Sundance), June 19, 2015 (limited)
Making new friends as adults and parents can be difficult sometimes, especially when moving to a big city like Los Angeles, as Alex (Scott) and Emily (Schilling) discover. However, during a trip to the park, Alex’s son RJ (R.J. Hermes) befriends another boy, Max (Max Moritt), which leads to his father, Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), to introduce himself to the couple. After sensing something special within them, Kurt invites Alex and Emily over for dinner that night. As the night progresses and the liquor pours, Alex, Emily, Kurt, and Kurt’s wife Charlotte (Godreche) begin to form new bonds. However, things slowly begin taking a sinister turn as Alex and Emily soon realize Kurt and Charlotte might have ulterior motives for inviting them over.
The casting in The Overnight is spot-on with each actor fitting into their roles perfectly. Scott plays to type with the innocent, naïve Kurt, Schilling plays the strong, guarded Emily, Schwartzman plays the douchey but well-intentioned Kurt, and Godreche plays the sexy, sultry Charlotte. Each actor plays off each other well, especially when Scott and Schwartzman are given free reign to bounce off one another.
The comedy in The Overnight is a bit raunchy, but not to Apatow levels. However, in saying that, expect some cod pieces and a plethora of pubic hair (too much, if you ask me). The visual gags are funny, sure, but as I mentioned earlier, the true humor is within the interaction between the cast. I’ve softened my stance in regards to Schwartzman over the past few years, and I think The Overnight helped me realize just how comfortable and proficient he is in playing wealthy, indulgent types while still being likable and relatable.
The Overnight is a different type of comedy that we see nowadays. It’s not too clever for its own good, nor does it rely on the raunchiness of its jokes. Rather, it combines the right amount of wit and perversion that anybody would enjoy.