Two Couples, 1 Night, nothing we haven't seen before.
The Overnight is a chamber piece about the developing relationship between two married couples in Los Angeles. After a chance meeting at a local park, Alex and Emily, new in town and looking to make friends, head to the home of Kurt and Charlotte, a pair of eccentric types, for a play date between their children. However after the children are asleep, the evening takes a turn for the unusual as the standard alcohol and other substances are brought out and truths start being shared.
The man behind the camera is Patrick Brice, the same man who held the lense for 2014’s Creep. If only The Overnight took the same subtlely when playing its cards. Here instead of a slow burning thriller we are given a quick flurry of action early in the film followed by a slow decline. No sooner has the basic premise of the film been laid out and we are given a strobe light party drinking montage which transforms the reserved into free spirits. Creep was so effective as it slowly ramped up the tension and could have been used in a similar way here. Instead the lack of mystery and predictable conclusions remove most of the whimsical indie feeling that is attempted.
At this point in his career Jason Schwartzman has been so deeply typecast that his appearance on screen tells you everything you need to know about the character. The same self indulged artist we have seen in films like Listen Up Philip, Rushmore, Great Darjeeling Limited and so many others is on display here with some of the usual misanthropy replaced by an over pronounced freedom. Adam Scott may find himself in the same predicament soon, constantly playing the same likable mild slacker neurotic. Judith Godreche and Taylor Schilling are both pleasant but exist in stereotype and rarely stretch from convention as they slowly chew a generic script.
The Overnight had the potential to push some boundaries. With Creep, Brice played on the boundaries and I was hoping to see some of that injected here. Despite their tendency to play similar roles, I enjoy both Schwartzman and Scott on screen but while they were dealing with heavily sexual and taboo topics, it felt mundane and safe for the context, no real twists or turns as the plot reaches a predictable end. If you are anywhere near familiar with comedy and the current wave of American indie films, you may be able to predict the punchline from the first 10 minutes. The Overnight is a fine film, but I don’t feel a need to come back to it and found myself losing interest at multiple times.