The Overnight

Starring: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzmann, Judith Godreche
Directed By: Patrick Brice

Plot: A young couple (Scott/Schilling) are looking to make new friends when they meet another like-minded couple (Schwartzmann/Godreche) while at the park with their son. They’re invited over for dinner, and things start taking a turn for something very different.

What Works: It’s another Duplass Bros mumblecore. These films are really cheap to make, and easy to shoot. They take place a lot in one location, and are set up to feel very “slice of life”. So, for Patrick Brice, I think he directed the film exactly how it needed to be done. It’s the cast that does most of the work here, and I thought the cast played well together for the most part. They didn’t feel like actors, but like real people. The film also handles the general weirdness of the film well. For Scott and Schilling, they’re slowly descending into something unknown, and I felt like they really didn’t know what was next. The audience seems to know more than they do, which is a nice touch. I normally can’t handle mumblecore films that run too long, and The Overnight seems to know that. It knows how far it can push it, so this film is super short. It is under 80 minutes, which we don’t normally see in theatrical releases, but it works well in this format.

What Doesn’t Work: I thought the two couples didn’t have any chemistry together. I thought Scott had more chemistry with Godreche than with Schilling. Schilling doesn’t have many scenes with Schwartzman, but even she had more chemistry with Godreche than with Scott. Maybe that was a choice, because I ended up rooting for an orgy just to breathe life into their relationship. I don’t know if that was intentional, but I know I wanted a bit more between Scott and Schilling.

Final Word: One of the better “mumblecore” films. It’s like the new hipster film genre, and it doesn’t always work for me. But when used correctly, I think it can work really well. It works here because the film relies on four talented actors, and keeps the subject matter limited and the film moving along at a good pace. We’re never talking in one place for too long. If someone was ever hesitant to watch a “mumblecore” film, I would actually suggest this as a good entry film because it really makes the best use of the cliches of the sub-genre.

Final Grade: B+

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