Patrick Brice’s ‘The Overnight‘ will make you believe that relationships and people are stranger than fiction. What starts off as a normal get-together slowly turns wilder, and weirder, and to be truly appreciative of the art of indie film-making – It astonishes. If you can’t intake and see overly exposed shots of fake penises, or you don’t enjoy people talking about things that only outward and impulsive people do, this is probably not for you.

The film is about a married couple with a young son. They struggle to develop a connection with other couples in their new environment after relocating to L.A from Seattle. This is until they meet Kurt (Jason Schwartzman). When the couple meets Kurt, they are not too convinced about the guy in a hat. But since they are in need of new friends, they try really hard to be interested. As they start talking to Kurt, they realize that he is a weird but engaging guy. And hence they are intrigued by his thoughtful and kind nature. In a matter of minutes and out of the blue, Kurt invites Alex (Adam Scott) & Emily (Taylor Schilling) over for an overnight family play-date at his house.

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Produced by the Duplass Brothers, ‘The Overnight’ has their staple realistically weird humor all over it, even though this is properly scripted indie, unlike most of their other films. The humor in the film is not the typical  ‘laugh out loud’ funny, nor the ‘Haha’ funny. It’s rather something that emerges out of the ever-growing tension between the four people in the room for an 80-minute runtime. What makes ‘The Overnight’ immensely enjoyable is the fact that it doesn’t hit you over the head with constant rambling. It glides over from one point to another without making a narrative drift, even though it takes a lot of U-turns.

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The film explores a lot of intertwined relationship dynamics. How comfortable are you with your significant other? Are you okay with sharing your intimate details with other people? How willing are you to be sexually exploitative? There are a lot of fascinating and totally bizarre things that ‘The Overnight’ touches on. Price’s film is awkward. It will make you uncomfortable with every passing second. Just when you expect it to go easy on the eye, it goes a peak higher. Most importantly, it never goes in the direction you will want it to go; even if you are as bizarre and as strange as Jason’s fake penis lined with well-cropped pubic hair.

This is a film that will only be appreciated by people who are possibly willing to go with the flow of sexuality and exploration that goes around the film. It has compelling and engaging conversations. There are no great dialogues, but the dialogues are grounded and realistic. Adam Scott is two different people in this film. There’s this side of him that is trying to be happy with whatever he has done and is about to do. Then there’s a side where he isn’t confident enough to even let his wife know about his pitfalls and his comfort zone. Jason Schwartzman’s character is the most interesting. He carries the film through its various pit stops. Playing an enigmatic hipster who is more mysterious than the wife he supposedly showers all his love on is a perfect bait for him.

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This is Patrick Brice’s second film this year. The first is the low-budget indie ‘Creep.’ He, along with the Duplass brothers, have decided to make these low-key films that bring out the real you in the course of an unsettling and unpredictable tale. His direction is top-notch, as usual. He manages to make you cringe, smile, laugh, and feel awkward all at the same time. All through the film, I was quite skeptical about how Brice was going to end this. But I was completely pleased with the result.

Overall, ‘The Overnight’ passes through various degrees of awkwardness in a relationship without hinting towards a possible solution. That is exactly why it won me over. Give it a watch.


The Overnight Trailer

The Overnight Links: IMDb, Wikipedia
Where to watch The Overnight (2015)

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