"The Overnight" is a kind of latter-day "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," but with a bit more envelope-pushing. Yet like that hit 1969 comedy, this engaging, funny and frank new film also proves something of a cop-out, especially given the bullet train of a narrative concocted by writer-director Patrick Brice.
Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) have recently moved from Seattle to L.A. for Emily's job; Alex is a stay-at-home dad to their toddler, R.J. (R.J. Hermes). One day at the park, Alex and Emily are chatted up by the jaunty Kurt (
Once dinner is over and the boys are put to bed upstairs, Kurt and the French-born Charlotte, both expert provocateurs, slowly reel in Alex and Emily for what's seemingly leading to a session of good old-fashioned swinging. But is it?
Booze, weed, anatomically inspired art, skinny-dipping, massages, penis-measuring (prosthetics were used), suggestive talk, handsy behavior, breast pump videos and more all amusingly factor in, with the confused Alex and Emily in approach-avoidance mode with the more free-spirited Kurt and Charlotte.
When the proverbial rubber does finally hit the road, the result is a bit twisty, largely credible and well played by the talented leads. Still, one wishes Brice gave the sexual deck a few more shuffles and probed even further into the couples' intriguing marital dynamics before the film's genial postscript.
MPAA rating: R for strong sexuality, graphic nudity, language, drug use.
Running time: 1 hour, 19 minutes.