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A Good Old Fashioned Orgy Movie Review

Posted by Perri Nemiroff On August - 31 - 2011 0 Comment

Title: A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Directed By: Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Tyler Labine, Lake Bell, Michelle Borth, Lindsay Sloane, Martin Starr, Angela Sarafyan, Lucy Punch, Will Forte, Lin Shaye, David Koechner

You know what A Good Old Fashioned Orgy reminds me of? Summer camp. Okay, clearly orgy and kids’ camp don’t really go together; it’s more of the combination of summertime and a group of friends getting together to enjoy some shenanigans. Rather than a pool party with sparklers à la Camp Nowhere, the A Good Old Fashioned Orgy characters enjoy drinking themselves into oblivion and planning a night packed with group sex. While I’ll never grow out of Camp Nowhere, there’s certainly room for more adult debauchery and A Good Old Fashioned Orgy fills that void in the best way possible.

Eric (Jason Sudeikis) is the king of parties. Every weekend, he and his friends ditch New York City and head out to the Hamptons to throw epic bashes at Eric’s family’s summerhouse. Sadly, after the white trash-themed night, Eric’s father decides it’s time to sell the place, making this the gang’s last summer of madness at the Hamptons house.

Determined to go out with a bang, Eric decides he’ll throw the party of all parties on Labor Day weekend, not for the whole town as usual, but just for his closest friends, Mike, Alison, Sue, Laura, Doug and Willow (Tyler Labine, Lake Bell, Michelle Borth, Lindsay Sloane, Martin Starr and Angela Sarafyan). The BFFs plan to end their summer with an orgy.

It sounds ridiculous and it is, but there’s such a degree of honesty, you’re on board the moment Eric suggests his most intimate theme idea yet. This is largely due to the fact that writer-directors Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck are impressively successful when it comes to making the audience feel like part of the group. We meet the main players right off the bat through a montage providing brief peeks at the characters’ lives when they’re not completely wasted at the summerhouse. From that point on, we’re whisked away on the Jitney to a world of parties, parties and more parties.

The White Trash Bash is a bit over-the-top. Who actually brings a cow to a party? Since when do the cops come to a clearly out-of-control bash and not shut it down? However, the logistics are easily overlooked as everything that’s going down is just so much fun. Why would you second-guess the legitimacy of a plot point when it might ruin the good time?

Even with the outlandish behavior, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy packs a great deal of authenticity, which stems directly from solid character development and honest performances. As an ensemble piece, the film appropriately packs a wide variety of personalities, ensuring everyone will find that one person to connect to. Plus, the gang as a whole is quite likable. In fact, that’s one of the film’s prime assets; quirks aside, these are people you’d really like to hang out with. Every cast member nails his or her role, not just highlighting stereotypes, but by honestly breathing life into the characters and making them feel like real people.

The only one that’s tough to get a handle on is Leslie Bibb’s Kelly. At first, she’s presented as a potential love interest for our leading man, then it’s revealed that she’s the real estate agent’s assistant making her the villain and then, she does an entirely unjustified turnaround, putting her back in good guy territory. It’s rather unbalanced, especially because we never see how her ever-changing relationship with Eric affects her performance at work. Speaking of which, it would have been nice to see a little more of all the players beyond the Hamptons house, but that’s more a testament to the fact that these are interesting characters than weak spots in the script.

From a directorial standpoint, as a first feature, this is an incredible accomplishment for Gregory and Huyck. Coverage is key here and the duo never gets fancy with unmotivated camera movements, keeping the focus on their stars’ performances. Without a heavy hand on the camera, before long you’ll forget you’re watching a film and feel as though you’re really part of the action. (That may not sound quite right considering the nature of the piece, but, trust me, it works.)

What it comes down to is that A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is ultimately a party that you’re invited to. Sure it has its bumps in the road and a fair dose of improbable plot points, but thanks to good parties, good people and a perfect pace, nothing comes close to spoiling the fun this one has to offer.

Technical: B+

Acting: B+

Story: B+

Overall: B+

By Perri Nemiroff

AGoodOldFashionedOrgy A Good Old Fashioned Orgy Movie Review

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

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