Director : Patrick Brice
Writer : Patrick Brice
If you are of an age that remembers video stores, you’ll recall the term "Overnight" was synonymous with "New Release". It was the first section you checked when you walked in the store. It represented hope. Hope that a new masterpiece or blockbuster had landed that week, waiting for you to rent.
So titling a movie "The Overnight" has a subliminal expectation built in, for those of us of a certain age, that is difficult for the actual film to live up to. The first problem you’ll notice is the way it looks. It doesn’t feel new. It's Mumblecore origins keep a cap on the production values (and costs), but as most of the scenes are at night, it takes on a grainy, almost VHS feel that isn’t particularly welcoming.
Newcomers to LA, Alex (Adam Scott)and Emily (Taylor Schilling) are interrupted in an intimate moment by their son R.J. (R.J.Hermes) and head off to the park. After some handwringing over not knowing anyone in town, they are approached by Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) in full charismatic hat wearing mode. In The Overnight you get all the different types of Swartzman. The pensive artist, the wise inspiring yogi, the mysterious romantic, it's the full Swartz ( and yes his Swartz is bigger than yours). Alex and Emily are powerless to resist his charms and before they know it, they have accepted an invitation for a play date at Kurt and Charlotte's (Judith Godreche) house. All is going magically well and they are convinced to stay for dinner. It's only when the kids go to bed that things start to get weird and Alex and Emily start to wonder what they are really doing there.
It's possible that Mark and Jay Duplass are going to take over the world. While the main studios increase their focus on creating universes that can shit out franchises for decades to come, there is a gap in the market for original storytellers and new movie makers. The Duplass Production company seem to be collecting them and sowing them out into the winds of the world. But while you can appreciate the work that they produce, and be happy that these type of films exist, it doesn't guarantee they are any good.
At times, these style of independent movies can fall into the quirkedy category, (a description coined by Adam Carolla, who’s house was used in this film coincidentally), to describe movies that use quirk in the absence of comedy. But The Overnight isn’t too cool to go for the laugh. It commits hard and should be rewarded for it. It may not have you rolling in the aisles, but it will have you fighting hard to suppress a smirk at the very least, and in the last Act you will not have a clue what is going to happen next.