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HomeBlogPopcorn Parent Movie ReviewsMovie Review: A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (R)

Movie Review: A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (R)

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Length: 95 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Appropriate for ages 17 and up. Living up to its name, this sex romp has sexy romping aplenty, including full male and female nudity and both discussion and depiction of explicit acts of carnality. There is persistent profanity, mild drug use and drinking so pervasive and heavy it really should have been performance inhibiting. Parents will almost certainly want to steer their pre-college-aged kids away from this one.

Charm Offensive

Appealing 30-somethings delay adulthood with a night fit for the adult section

By Jared Peterson

Not since Hot Tub Time Machine has a film announced so plainly what it’s all about. In a far mellower way, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy taps into that film’s longing for the lost (and possibly imagined) debauchery of an Eighties youth.

The story centers around a group of 30-something chums who have so far managed to maintain both their high-school bond of friendship and their high-school social schedule. Each summer weekend for years they’ve been stealing away to the Hamptons for a series of themed, throwback keggers. Charming man-child Eric (Saturday Night Live’s Jason Sudeikis) throws the parties at a well-appointed beach house that belongs to his dad (Don Johnson). When his dad puts the house up for sale, it acts as a bleary-eyed wake-up call, and the clock starts ticking down to what Eric and his friends see as their last hurrah before true adulthood. The question is, What’s left to do? When it dawns on Eric and his already debauched sidekick McCrudden (Tyler Labine, late of CBS’s “Mad Love”), the orgy idea soon becomes not just a theme but also a way of celebrating their tight-knit group and ushering in a new era.

Some genuinely entertaining comic actors are cast in basically cookie-cutter roles: “Lake Bell is Kelly (No Strings Attached, What Happens in Vegas) as a wound-up therapist who needs to cut loose; Lindsay Sloane (Bring It On, She’s Out of His League) as Laura, an buttoned-up elementary school teacher who needs to cut loose; Martin Starr (Adventureland) as Duquez, an unsuccessful musician who needs to cut loose; and Nick Kroll (great guest spots on “Parks and Recreation” and “Childrens Hospital”) as Adam, some sort of business-type dude who needs to cut loose. Some of them clearly belong with one of the others, and a night in a large, very accommodating sack will apparently do the trick.

The movie’s complications aren’t complicated or even particularly complicating, and things come off pretty much as you’d expect them to. A love interest storyline involving Eric and a lovely real estate agent (Leslie Bibb, Talladega Nights) threatens to scuttle the lovefest before it happens, either by removing the beach house venue or changing Eric’s mind about the whole thing. But that mess gets conveniently put on hold at just the right moment. The orgy itself—which I was a little bit surprised to find actually happens—brings people together in vaguely emotional and graphically physical ways and, of course, clarifies more than it confuses.

In the midst of its raunchy simplicity, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy has some funny scenes and a generally breezy comic tone encouraged by writer/directors Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck (TV veterans who got a start writing for David Letterman) and maintained by the actors, especially Jason Sudeikis and his Chevy Chase Lite style. Orgy is like so many other movies, it’s hard to keep track, but you might justly call that kind of familiarity comforting. It has many similarities to that other SNL-vehicle, Bridesmaids, though it doesn’t make it into the same league. With its weekend of slightly anxious fun and vague awareness of for whom the bell tolls, it could also be superficially mistaken for a kind of Big Chill of the tail end of Generation X. Mind you, it’s not nearly mopey or introspective enough to wear that mantle (which, to my mind, belongs to a little seen 2006 movie called The Lather Effect). But the easy sarcasm, lighthearted quippiness, and utter lack of urgency of both the characters and the film fit that generation (talking ‘bout my generation, incidentally) to a T. Not for kids, this, but some Gen-x and Gen-Yers could find this a dopey diversion from kids, bills and the good, old-fashioned march of time.

 

 

 

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