Have you ever gone to someone’s home and stayed longer than common sense dictated? If you want to hang on to your dignity, you better quickly learn from the experience.
While far from a great movie, Director Patrick Brice’s The Overnight centers on issues flowing from the marital bedroom that few people want to talk about. While it dances on the edge of foolish mindlessness at times, it is also witty and inventive to the point where you never lose interest.
In this case, Alex and Emily, played in meaningful style by Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling, are a married couple who have moved with their 6-year-old son to LA. She’s working, he’s not, and their struggles include the absence of any friends. Furthermore, the movie begins with their attempt to have intercourse, and you quickly know that this couple has some sexual problems.
While they watch their child play in a park while mourning their lonely life , they meet an affable guy (Jason Schwartzman) who invites them over to his home for dinner. As proven by previous performances in Rushmore (1998), Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Mr. Schwartzman never gives a bad performance, and Mr. Scott and Ms. Schilling have no idea where this casual dinner is going to lead.
Our couple arrives at the elegant LA home owned by Schwartzman, and proceed to meet his charming French wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche). This is a case where our couple arrives for an evening get together in the hope of meeting new friends, but these new friends have some hidden secrets.
To describe what happens would risk ruining the movie for all of you, so let me simply say that Alex and Emily are convinced to let their child go to sleep in their hosts’ upstairs bedroom. Dinner follows with a large amount of wine and liquor and ends up with Schwartzman and his wife stripping naked and asking his guests to join them in his rather lavish pool. The movie basically asks, “What would you say?” Well, what would you?
The evening progresses well beyond the pool, and this is a film that challenges admittedly loving, dedicated couples to examine their own weaknesses. If you’re having trouble having sex, why? If you have weaknesses, how do you remedy them? How does a marriage survive when interests take you elsewhere while still being devoted to your spouse?
Sadly, the film eventually drifts to a point where you as a viewer are left jumping off an emotional cliff. In many ways it becomes as ridiculous as a similar film starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts entitled While We’re Young (2015). You are left with the feeling that the directors of both films (Noah Baumbach and Patrick Brice) need to get out of LA and see how the real world lives.