The Overnight, film review: A low-budget version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

(15) Patrick Brice, 79 mins. Starring: Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

This very wry, LA-set adult comedy plays like a junior, low-budget version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It's about two young couples spending a long, dark night of the soul together – one that involves plenty of alcohol, drug taking, skinny-dipping and some bizarre scenes in which the men agonise over the size of their genitalia.

Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling from Orange Is the New Black) have just moved to California from Seattle. He is a house husband, fretting at the way his life is going. After a chance meeting in the park with Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), who has a son the same age as their own, they accept an invitation to go to his house for a dinner.

What starts as a conventional evening of bourgeois chit-chat about careers, homes and schools gradually becomes more and more weird. Schwartzman is an amateur artist with a strange choice of subject matter. He and his glamorous but enigmatic French wife (Judith Godrèche) make risqué videos advertising breast pumps. The longer the evening lasts, the more the couples reveal.

The dialogue isn't quite as vicious as that hurled between Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in Virginia Woolf but the writer-director Patrick Brice knows how to squeeze the humour out of the most intimate and embarrassing moments. The film is well-played by its leads, who bring out the comic and vulnerable sides of their characters without making them seem too creepy or self-obsessed.