In a whole other league to the regular slew of sex comedies usually churned out by the Hollywood machine – that are often simply raunchy for the sake of it – The Overnight (2015) – director Patrick Brice’s follow-up to Creep – is an unexpected delight. Effortlessly warping dark comedy and drama, with a delicious sprinkling of kink, there’s much awkwardly hilarious fun to be had as boundaries are pushed and secrets revealed. New to Los Angeles, young couple Emily (Taylor Schilling) and Alex (Adam Scott) are invited to a night-time playdate with Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and Charlotte (Judith Godreche) when their son makes friends with their boy at the park.
As risqué and sexualised as the film is at times, it’s always done to serve a purpose. The absurd evening’s events not only takes the two relationships in interesting directions, but also forces personal fears to be confronted and overcome. The film is well-packaged, the direction is sure-footed and Julian Wass’ score heightens the tension in all the right places – but the commitment to the characters is key. It’s here that Brice breaks down the standard sex comedy tropes, peeling back the comedic visage and exposing an honest relationship drama in which tough realisations are made and tender moments shared. All four cast members deliver excellent performances, Brice’s material enabling them to have fun while also tapping into interesting psychological nooks and crannies. An extremely funny, incredibly awkward comedy, it is The Overnight‘s tremendous sweetness that makes it the stand-out film it is.