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The Overnight 

Wednesday, Jun 24 2015
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Not yet settled in L.A., young Seattle-transplant parents Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) optimistically embark on a pizza-party playdate with sunny Californians Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and Charlotte (Judith Godrèche), who seem very friendly. Then very, very friendly. Their night together advances in a jumble of hangups and high hopes, with just enough booze, bong rips, and body-image insecurities to go around. And before we know it, a coy indie sex comedy has fully disrobed, revealing — wait for it — a deep relationship drama. Pulling this off requires a good ear for how a phrase like "We've tried everything" could suggest enviable adventurousness or pitiable stagnation, depending on the degree of established intimacy. Gladly, the establishment of intimacy, with all its confusions, frustrations, and consolations, is just what interests writer-director Patrick Brice, who juices this minimal scenario with maximum efficiency. Brice understands the basic weirdness of getting to know people — how ambiguity can be tense, funny, frisky, and touching, sometimes all at once. Characterized with tactfully exaggerated comic proportions, The Overnight also benefits from pitch-perfect casting: Each actor gets to shine. Together, they have the right proportions of wit and feeling, and their shared escapade is funny and racy without ever trying too hard. Some San Francisco viewers may consider this whole enterprise a tad too vanilla, but perhaps these highly evolved polyamory virtuosos can find it in their chakras to have a little patience and compassion for the rest of us.

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Jonathan Kiefer

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SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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