If I had to sum up The Overnight in one word, it would simply be “weird”; I came out of the limited release showing thinking “what the hell did I just watch?”. God knows what was going through writer and director Patrick Brice’s head when he wrote the script.
If it wasn’t for the cast, I don’t think I would have found this sex comedy to be half as entertaining as I did find it. Husband and wife Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) and their young son RJ (RJ Hermes) are nervous about making new friends after recently moving to Los Angeles. When RJ befriends a boy called Max (Max Moritt) in a park, Max’s eccentric father Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) invites the family to a playdate at his house. They accept the invitation and when it’s time to go home, Kurt and his perplexing wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) persuade their new friends to stay the night in their decidedly impressive house. The boys then get put to bed and the events that occur between the adults throughout the night are too bizarre for me to even try to explain.
I really only went to see this film because I’m a fan of the cast members, who the script leans on heavily so that it doesn’t disappoint. If it wasn’t for Scott, Schilling, Schwartzman and Godrèche, Brice’s fanciful imagination would not have such great rhythm and comedic timing on screen as it does. Scott does a hilariously brilliant job of becoming Alex, the insecure father, and Schilling matches Scott’s brilliance by adding to the comedic atmosphere as his more put together wife – if it wasn’t for Scott and Schilling, I don’t think the couple would click as much as they did. Schwartzman and Godrèche do an equally good job bringing their whimsical characters to life, which makes me wonder what techniques they used to get into character. Amy Poehler said in her autobiography that acting is embarrassing, to which I think the cast of The Overnight might possibly agree with after filming; I’d quite like to see the blooper reel. Still, I’m glad they got over any potential embarrassment, awkwardness and laughing fits to pull together this conversation-starter of a film and give me a strangely entertaining evening at the cinema.
I found The Overnight to be very unpredictable with plenty of “what the fuck” moments that I couldn’t help but laugh at. It’s really one of those acquired taste films you have to just see for yourself, but don’t watch it with your parents.