Sunday, January 27, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011) **

R, 95 min.
Directors/Writers: Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Tyler Labine, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, Michelle Borth, Nick Kroll, Lindsay Sloane, Angela Sarafyan, Martin Starr, Rhys Coiro, Will Forte, Lucy Punch

I’m not sure how old fashioned the orgy in “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” is. That’s not an area of expertise I posses. What I do know is movies, and what “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” is not is a good old-fashioned raunchy sex comedy. In fact, it does a rare thing in comedy today. It takes itself seriously—perhaps a little too seriously.

The biggest problem with “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” is that it just isn’t funny enough. It follows a group of old high school friends that have a grand tradition of throwing the most amazing summer house parties. They are afforded this ability because one of them has a family summerhouse that is never occupied by either of his separated parents. Their tradition makes for a great escape from the daily grind of their adult lives. All of this is threatened, however, when the guy’s father decides to sell the house. They’ll have to have one last bash. To make it special, they decide to make it an orgy.

The movie seriously deals with all the implications involved when a group of close friends decides to do the whole naked sharing thing. This makes the movie interesting, if not as entertaining as it might have otherwise been. The movie loses its momentum in the build up to the special event. The orgy itself is much funnier than the rest of the movie without ever descending into full raunch and without compromising the more realistic approach to the subject. Unfortunately, the movie has already lost its spark long before it gets to the orgy.

Jason Sudeikis and company try their best, but most of the material dealing with the character’s relationships leading up to the orgy is kind of worn and flat. Sudeikis has some funny moments with his natural ability to make fun of uncomfortable situations, but it’s not enough to carry the film through to its comedic focal point. Frankly, this movie could’ve used a much higher dose of “Caddyshack” and less of how these people really felt about it.

Warning! Red Band trailer contains explicit language that could only be expected in a movie with the title “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy”.

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