Starring: Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling
Director: Patrick Brice
Running Time: 79 mins
The Overnight is an American film about a husband and wife, newly arrived in Los Angeles, who take their son to a playdate, and stay overnight at the house, only to discover that the owners have plans of their own for the evening.
This film was an utter waste of time. Its premise may be sound, and other films have definitely made a similar one work well, but The Overnight ultimately turns out as one of the dullest, emptiest and most pretentious films I’ve ever seen, complete with awful writing, unnecessarily graphic scenes, and a total lack of energy or humour to grab you in any way, shape or form.
It’s a pretty simple premise from the start: two parents stay overnight at a couple’s house, and over the course of the evening, things change from normal get-together to something much, much stranger. Now, that sort of a synopsis is pretty much enough to tell you everything that’s going to happen throughout the movie. From the moment I began watching, I had an idea in my mind of how the plot would unfold, and that was pretty much exactly how everything turned out.
As a result, there’s no intrigue or mystery at any point simply because each twist and turn is so predictable, and absolutely nothing in the way of genuine emotional drama, considering that the film is so content with following a very simple and basic plot line from beginning to end.
However, clearly in the knowledge that its story is so predictable, The Overnight decides to use shock value as a way to engage you in the film. Throughout, as the plot trundles along with all of its tedium, the movie bursts into life with random moments of excessive nudity, or characters being involved in all sorts of awfully lurid activities, none of which are given any real context beyond just being there for gratuitous purposes, and the characters just get involved without any meaningful hesitation or discussion.
Of course, the two parents who come to stay are initially reluctant, but given that the plot is moving along in such a generic fashion, there’s little time for that hesitation to really create any tension or drama, rather just a stumbling block placed in for purposes of realism than something properly genuine.
The leads here don’t put in performances that are either convincing or entertaining enough to grab you either. The screenplay does not help in any way, but in tandem with the film’s overall rather pretentious feel, the leads actors just work their way through a truly tedious 79 minutes without bringing any of their own talents for humour or charisma to the table, adding to the boredom of the whole affair.
If The Overnight had even a modicum of self-referential humour, then it would have been an eternally more bearable watch, but given its extreme pretenses from start to finish, combined with a pointlessly gratuitous series of explicit scenes, and its painfully generic and predictable story, there’s absolutely nothing to care about at any moment here, and that’s why I’m giving it a 2.0 overall.