New to Los Angeles and seeking friends for themselves and their little boy, Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) are thrilled to meet an interesting parent, Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), at the playground. The kids get along, so Kurt invites Alex and Emily to dinner at his house, along with his wife, Charlotte (Judith Godrèche). The evening goes great: Food, wine, the kids go to sleep, the weed comes out … and then, things gradually turn odd.
Writer-director Patrick Brice's film is a part wacky sexcapade, part contemporary comedy of manners. It's a light send-up of self-conscious moderns, who are endlessly analyzing their parenting, their presentation, whether they come across as cool. As in the 1960s and '70s, being seen as a boring, inhibited person (a.k.a. a square) is to be avoided, but on the other hand, nobody wants to be seen as too crazy. This is the terrifyingly thin line that Alex and Emily walk during their "overnight" with Kurt and Charlotte. I won't ruin the surprises, but both Scott and Schilling are good at reacting/not-reacting to moments and events that challenge their carefully curated sense of self.
In the end, all four individuals and both sets of couples get a run-through the wringer of self-assessment, drunken discovery and awkward confessions. (Only the two kids have a quiet night.) The material and themes are quite familiar — the angst of affluent, married thirtysometings — but Overnight has some laughs (plus a couple of "shock" moments), and it's largely sympathetic to its characters. Starts Fri., July 3. Hollywood and Manor