There will be girls at this orgy, right?


Theatrical Release Date: 09/02/2011
Directors: Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck
Cast: Jason Sudekis, Leslie Bibb, Tyler Labine, Lake Bell, Michelle Borth, Nick Kroll, Angela Sarafyan, Lindsay Sloane, Martin Starr, Will Forte, Lucy Punch, David Koechner, Don Johnson
Rated: R for pervasive strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language.
Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes


Trailer:

Why do all the girls get shirts?

Are you old enough to remember the gloriousness of “Bachelor Party”? Do you find yourself transfixed to the TV when “One Crazy Summer” is playing? Then maybe you’re the perfect demographic for “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy”.

A comedy about a group of 30-year olds who spend their holiday weekends throwing ridiculously themed parties at a huge home, the film features Jason Sudeikis, Tyler Labine, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell and Lindsay Sloane – with cameos from Will Forte, Lucy Punch, David Koechner and even Don Johnson. It’s an eclectic mix of actors but one that gels superbly.

The strength of the project comes from each actor knowing what familiar archetype they’re playing and sticking to it. This isn’t about stealing scenes, it’s about rounding out an ensemble that is sure to resonate with most people born sometime in the ’70s. That’s not to say younger or older crowds won’t find a lot of laughs to be had, just that their emotional connection to the characters may not be quite as strong.

As someone born right before Disco died, the people in “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” feel like familiar friends to me; their neuroses and peccadilloes are easily attributed to people I went to high school and college with. This helps to balance out a rather thin script that’s light on character development but it’s to the overall benefit of the film that the writer/director pair of Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck didn’t attempt to grow too much of a brain as things go on.

Whether it’s the White Trash Bash, where mullets and tractor races are par for the course, or the more intimate orgy (hinted so subtly at in the title) that finds the tight-knit group revealing secrets and working out long-held desires, it’s not so much about needing clever dialogue but simply letting the humor stem from seeing the characters react to the situations they find themselves in. Anyone familiar with the genre will see where the film is headed about ten minutes in but it’s such a fun and enjoyable ride that the predictability of it all doesn’t do much to detract from the overall experience.

From a filmmaking perspective, I’m sure they didn’t have a tremendous budget but that still doesn’t forgive the almost commercial camcorder quality of the movie. While probably a combination of laziness when it comes to the cinematography and the camera itself, it’s sad that the average cable TV show looks worlds better. Perhaps it was an intentional attempt to evoke the comedies it resembles in spirit but that can be accomplished largely via film stock and grain alone; being unable to properly and consistently light a scene is a whole different issue.

Still, the film quality is really the biggest knock I can give this film. But as much as I might recommend this, finding it in theaters may not be so easy. In San Diego, only one theater is opening it this weekend and that likely means a similar strategy in most other cities. However, should “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” not be playing near you, make sure to keep it in mind when it hits DVD or VOD, as it’s getting a 4 out of 5.

This is the perfect movie to enjoy with a group of old friends (and maybe a few adult beverages). It’s funny, and just as importantly, the non-specific time period and almost throwback sense to 80s comedies should give it a leg up when it comes to repeat watching. While it’s a shame this isn’t getting a wider release, this is the kind of project almost built to work better in the home market.

4 out of 5