Movie Reviews, TV Reviews, and Recaps
What's really worth watching

Review: "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy" Keeps Its Socks On

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    When a group of friends learn they're about to lose their summer house, they resolve to go out with a bang. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Tyler Labine, Lake Bell, Martin Starr, Michelle Borth and Leslie Bibb, opens Sept. 2. (Published Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011)

    As one watches “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” starring Jason Sudekis, Lake Bell and a host of others, one nagging questions dogs you: Are they really gonna have an orgy? How you feel about the eventually answer no doubt says volumes about you, though it’s unclear what exactly. What we do know is that this should have had us laughing more.

    Sudekis stars as Eric, son of a wealthy horndog (Don Johnson in an amusingly self-aware cameo) who’s decided to sell the summer home in the Hamptons that Eric and his friends have been using to throw magnificently elaborate theme parties since they were in high school together. Realizing that their Shangri-La is about to be ripped away from them, they resolve to have one last party, a decidedly more intimate affair—an orgy.

    As luck would have it, the clique is evenly balanced along gender lines, and as one might expect, so is the enthusiasm for the idea (and it goes without saying that the women are exponentially hotter than the fellas). But a relentless charm offensive by Eric (who gives the best sales job on a party since “Animal House”) helps to wear down the ladies, until everyone's on board. But things get complicated when Eric falls for Kelly (Leslie Bibb), the blonde who’s been tasked with selling his father’s house.

    Outraged by the way the culture went from "Ice Storm"-like key parties to a generation cowed by AIDS into prudishness to teens wearing bracelets indicating their sexual preferences, Eric sees it as an opportunity for him and his friends to enjoy the fruits of sexual liberation. The ridiculousness of the film’s conceit—honestly, who makes a comedy about orgies these days?—along with Sudekis’ winning smile and Tyler Labine’s go-for-broke courage make the movie a modest success.

    But a film with a supporting cast of people like Will Forte, Lucy Punch, Nick Kroll, Lake Bell and Martin Starr, written and directed by "Letterman" alumnae Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck should be a lot funnier. The movie just isn't nearly as audacious as the title, it feels a little flat. Like an actual orgy, "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy" is a better idea than reality.