2015 has been marked with movies attempting to wake up the sex lives of straight people.
Fifty Shades of Grey, Magic Mike XXL, and Ex Machina all explored the darker sides of hetero love and lust, but they all go limp next to the The Overnight.
The Overnight was a film no one noticed — its best ad was a single-page article in OUT — but its lineup was stellar: Adam Scott from “Parks and Recreation,” Jason Scwhartzman from all of Wes Anderson’s films, and Taylor Schilling from “Orange Is The New Black.”
Its premise is enough to turn away shy moviegoers looking for a standard rom-com. From the pink neon trailer to the poster tagline (“Get into the swing of things”), audiences surmised it had something to do with swingers.
Contrary to its hype, The Overnight proves to be more than just “that swingers movie,” although I’m sure that’s what people will call it, if it gets any attention. Where Fifty Shades of Grey assumed the shock value of BDSM would be enough to drive the movie (making the whole thing completely dull for those who’ve been there, done that), The Overnight avoids making swingers the main dish.
Swinging may be outlandish for straight people — for homos it’s practically the norm — but Overnight makes it a narrative feature without swallowing the movie.
Alex and Emily just moved from Seattle to L.A. with their son AJ and they’re worried they won’t make any friends. That very day in the park they meet Kurt, deftly played by Jason Scwhartzman, a character who both fortifies and obliterates the stereotype of the hipster Los Angeles dad.
Kurt invites the new couple over for dinner, which goes great. After they put the kids to bed and keep the party going, things get weird. Sexual tensions flare. Insecurities and deeply seated fears abound. A lot is funny. A lot is strange. And gradually we figure out what’s going on.
After ten minutes of what can adequately be called an extended penis joke, Alex, cursed with an incredibly small (fake) member, says to his wife, “For the first time in my life, I love my dick.”
It’s not a joke. The glazed, defeated look in his eyes speaks to guys everywhere who aren’t hung, and suddenly the film goes serious. Whoa.
Sure, some jokes fall flat and some parts unfold predictably, but the on-screen chemistry is strong, and the dialogue — especially from Schwartzman — is refreshingly organic.
Why should you see this movie? Because there are a lot of women and men who appear eager to get in relationships just to catch their honey in the act of cheating. These people live in mortal fear of their partner desiring anyone else (which, inevitably, they will). The Overnight is for those people, and for all you straight couples who need a dirty laugh — and maybe some encouragement to try swinging for yourself.