Awkward Perfection: A Review of ‘The Overnight’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - June 25, 2015
Awkward Perfection: A Review of ‘The Overnight’

Moving to a new town is never easy for kids and adults alike because making new friends is never easy.  The Overnight takes us into the awkwardness of the interpersonal dynamic between people during an innocent night out at a new friends house and takes it some uncomfortably hilarious places.

Alex (Adam Scott) his wife Emily (Taylor Schilling) and their son RJ are new to the city of angels that is Los Angeles.  Used to their old haunts of Seattle and feeling adrift in this massive new city they are desperate to meet people and make new friends.  A harmless trip to the park results in a chance encounter with Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) at the local park and they happily agree to be his guests at a family pizza night.

Seemingly equal parts funny, uncomfortable and honest; The Overnight drops us into an awkward situation that isn’t nearly as disconnected from our day to day lives as you might initially think.

TheOvernight

This second feature effort from writer/director Patrick Brice has a stunningly self assured quality about itself as it takes us into what we at first think is a very daring story but has roots in some genuine human emotion as the complexity of the couple unit is always rife with material for us to dive into.  Brice is not afraid to let us squirm as the level of social discomfort keeps slowly but surely climbing until the ultimate payoff.  Brice places these characters in this sprawling house and it feels like a mouse trap or a maze as the two couple keep switching off with each other and giving us a variety of different scenarios that we might not be so proud to admit have happened to us.  It’s the awkward dinner party from hell that we have all been at, just never knowing how to act and Brice creates genuine tension while the actors get the narrative moving at exactly the perfect pace as the stakes keep getting higher and higher while keeping it all feel rather light and breezy at the exact same time.

Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling are wonderful as our socially awkward and sexually repressed couple who just don’t know how to manage interactions with anyone other than themselves.  They play it nervously, but always manage to be engaging as they never quite know which way the night is going.  Meanwhile Jason Schwartzman who is paired up with Judith Godreche absolutely steals the show as the bohemian new friend who seemingly is the master of his domain.  Schwartzman is an absolute master of subtlety this time out as he slowly but surely pushes the boundaries of comedy and comfort with every turn from a simple video of a breast pump showing his wife’s breasts to skin-dipping to his unique collection of “self” portraits, we laugh and we shrink in our seats simultaneously at everything that he does it is easily makes for one of the best comedic performances of the year.

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At the end of the day, The Overnight is a unique little beast of a movie that knows how to make us laugh, squirm and feel as we follow a group a very real and very vulnerable people go through a night that they had never expected.

 

This post was written by
David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.