Review: Comedy 'The Overnight' hits awkward truths

Tom Long
The Detroit News

"The Overnight" is one of those cringe comedies that come to truth through awkward misunderstanding and outlandish behavior.

It looks a lot like something the Duplass brothers ("Baghead," "Cyrus") would make and, indeed, here brother Mark Duplass hovers over writer-director Patrick Brice as producer and guiding light. True to form, the film moves from the sweet to the starkly outrageous before landing on the confessional and introspective.

Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) have just moved to L.A. from Seattle with their young son (R.J. Hermes). While attending a kids' birthday party at a park, they meet engrained local Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and his young son (Max Morrit). With the boys getting along great, Kurt invites the newcomers over to his place for pizza that night.

At Kurt's palatial mansion, Alex and Emily meet Charlotte (Judith Godreche), Kurt's lovely French wife. The pizza's good, so's the wine, and after a while, Kurt suggests they put the boys to bed and keep conversing.

And then things get progressively weirder and weirder, from Charlotte's starring role in a breast-milk pumping instructional DVD, to Kurt's prowess with a bong and hobby painting — er, we can't really say what he paints in a family newspaper. Soon enough it's skinny-dipping, not-so-skinny-dipping and naked dancing by the pool.

After making a great confession, Alex is having fun, but Emily isn't so sure about these people. She didn't move to L.A. to become a swinger. Is that what's happening?

Yes, no, maybe, sorta, but not really. It's complicated, and even when it's resolved, it's still complicated and not really resolved. Brice goes a bit too broad at times, but he keeps things just funny and edgy and open enough for "The Overnight" to work.

'The Overnight'


Rated R for strong sexuality, graphic nudity, language and drug use

Running time: 79 minutes