Wednesday, December 16, 2015

THE OVERNIGHT (2015)



Written & Directed By: Patrick Brice 
Cinematography By: John Guleserian 
Editor: Christopher Donlon 


Cast: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Judith Godreche, Jason Schwartzman

Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family "play date" becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on.

Quite surprised this film didn't get more attention upon it's release. Produced by Mark & Jay Duplass. It feels like one of their films that homegrown realistic feel. That seems almost a D.I.Y. Production with recognizable actors. This is a comedy that feels realistic and any hi-jinks that happen actually feel organic rather then created. It is a bit strange in that the subject matter and how far they go with it. Even in the material. I recommend as to me it is a hidden gem. Think a modern day BOB, CAROL, TED & ALICE. Only smaller scaled. Not so much a product of being a slice of life and satire of modern times. It is like a lead up to a porn scenario. Or all the parts of the porn like story, motivation, set-up and character that modern porn tends to leave out and even has a payoff

Filmed at comedian Adam Carolla's home. Filmed in 12 – 15 days

Though a comedy as strange as it gets. The film could b a unnerving thriller and a relationship drama also.

As the film and character feel real to life. The film offers not too much to set them off into the story. It feels naturally inspired rather than some big event that leads them to another.

The film feels like a more minuscule modern version of BOB, CAROL, TED AND ALICE. Which was about swinging and the sexual revolution happening at the time.

This film I will warn you, if you are not open minded especially when it comes to things of a more sexual nature. This is not the film for you.

What I enjoy about this film is that it pushes the envelope but in a more matter of fact way that has a light touch. It's not exploitive or over the top. It presents it's scenes and material. Over time to be more revealing about character and situation. Rather than random and just there to shock. Though you are ill at ease at first as there are some obvious ulterior motives at play throughout.

Jason Schwartzman makes the material feel more pedestrian and laissez faire the. Confrontational. He helps put the audience at ease while all this craziness goes on

I was shocked in particularly by the appearance of Judith Godreche who I remember in the 90's as being the next big international actress after appearing with Leonardo DiCaprio in man in the iron mask and Stephen Dorff in entropy. The. She seemed to disappear seeing her here she is still sensational in looks and talent. This time even getting to watch her do a comedy.

It's nice to see Adam Scott in the big screen though as in his previous film Appearances he has a sinister look, but usually plays the Every man dealing with the craziness around him. That sometimes makes him come off as in the same league as Jason Bateman.

The film ultimately is about dissatisfaction and confidence. Though it Seems to have this underbelly of being more about sex

It is a film best to discover without giving too much away. As it is a film where you might think you know where it is going yet manages to keep surprising you. As well as being a satire on modern domesticity and hipster middle age.

It's not a big story in fact it's rather small which keeps it within reason and keeps it believable throughout. Making it not as outrageous as it's premise might seem.

Though if you just know it tackles this could easily be called a comedy of errors. As it seeks along the way to push the limit and challenge itself and it's viewers to guess how far it will go. While showcasing with taste and vigor where it does.

It's a tame film that feels challenging and keeps your mind open as you try to predict where it will go next. Having a bit of dangerous edge to it. That seems to keep it artisanal rather than gratuitous or exploitive.


SPOILER

The theme of the film seems to be about normalcy versus open relationship what is normal to some might be strange to others. Though what is so called normal sexuality? Why are so called alternative lifestyles so strange and threatening to some.

SPOILER END

I will say I can see how it got a rated R rating. As it seems other than one scene. The film keeps it rather tame and there is more talk of sex rather than any actual visuals of it. Though i am I shocked, knowing how prudish the rating board can be that this did get by with an r rating. And not an NC-17 as many times as you think the film will cut away from where you think it might be going. It doesn't and goes the full journey.

I think what also adds a uncomfortable awkward layer is that the hi-jinks of the movie are also happening with the couples children only a few rooms away. Their appearance at unusual turns also adds to this weird vibe of the film. As you have this supposedly tawdry material and acts and out in the middle bursts some innocence. So that while you might cheer some of the behavior on here comes this element that makes you question yourself and your motives for wanting this action to happen.

The film though not directed by them fits into The Duplass brothers canon. As it feels more homegrown and real to the fears and life of more middle class normal characters then most films. Though I notice as they are producers of this film amongst others when the films they make are more genre or deal with more extreme material they tend to produce and/or act in those projects. Rather then direct. (CREEP, BLACK ROCK, THE FREEBIE) While the ones they direct push some limits. They seem to also be more wholesome. (CYRUS, JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME) Not complaining, i am Actually glad they know the material they are more comfortable directing and he more extreme stuff they support the writer or filmmaker in their vision and help it get made.

I give all the actors in the film kudos for their bravery as they seem fearless in this film and also for their willingness to be naked physically and emotionally.

It's a film that can be seen as fun, disturbing or unsettling. Or all of the above. I can say it is original and feels very liberating. It manages to do this all With a very short running time.


Grade: B-

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