I Wanna Feel You From The Inside

I remember seeing a trailer for this movie about a group of thirty-something friends who decide to engage in an orgy and I thought it looked like the kind of broad comedy whose only funny moments were those shown in the trailer and that probably lacked any depth of plot but tried to make up for it with sex and/or nudity.  Some months (maybe a year?) later, I saw that A Good Old Fashioned Orgy was streaming on Netflix and, with nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon, I hit play.  An hour and a half later, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked the movie, much sweeter and deeper than its trailer implies, and way funnier.

Orgy begins with one raucous, outrageously-themed (white trash/hillbilly theme? One word: insane) party.  The host is Eric (Jason Sudeikis), the adult son of the home’s owner and a grown man suffering from Peter Pan syndrome.  His close group of friends is there and all are immediately introduced: the vaguely uptight engaged new parents Kate and Glenn (Lucy Punch and Will Forte), annoying know-it-all therapist Alison (Lake Bell) and her pretentious-as-all-hell boyfriend Marcus (Rhys Coiro), the formerly fat, insecure Laura (Lindsay Sloane), the one who casually dated Eric and has since harbored unrequited feelings for him, Sue (Michelle Borth), the affable, chubby one, Mike (Tyler Labine), the wanna-be rock star Doug (Martin Starr) and his girlfriend Willow (Angela Sarafyan) and the nerdy germophobe Adam (Nick Kroll).  All are present at the balls-out, riotous party as well as roughly a hundred other people.  And this, apparently, is what this group of friends does every weekend: have humungous, fantastic parties at Eric’s father’s beach home in the Hamptons.

So when Eric’s dad decides to sell the place and the group realizes they’ll soon have to grow up, what else would they do but decide on one final blow-out.  The theme for the final bash?  You guessed it: an orgy.  No other guests, no unwilling participants, no modesty or indiscretion.  Just eight long-time friends exploring their sexuality and enjoying each other in previously uncharted ways.  It sounds absurd and in all reality, I don’t know that any such group of friends could pull it off and remain friends.  Awkwardness, jealousies and insecurities would inevitably rear their ugly heads but for the sake of the movie, it actually kind of works.  Because the truth is, Orgy is much less about the actual orgy than it is about a group of young adults who finally accept that they’ve got to grow up.  The inhibitions that melt away during the planning and execution of the orgy also reveal a number of previously unfaced truths and the bonds between them are strengthened.

While all major players deliver convincing, endearing performances, the stand out in Orgy is Tyler Labine who plays the overweight bff to Sudeikis’s charming man-boy.  Labine’s Mike is obliviously crude, delightfully amiable and irresistibly likeable.  The chemistry between all eight friends is believable and easy but that between Mike and Eric feels genuine, just like two besties from way back whose friendship has progressed to a full-fledged bromance.  I laughed out loud repeatedly during the film’s 95 minutes and the majority of those laughs came from Labine.  He shined in this flick and I truly hope he gets more (and good) comedic roles.

Look, if you don’t appreciate humor of a sexual and/or crass nature or if you are easily offended, then Orgy isn’t for you.  Otherwise, I highly recommend it.  It won’t change your life or deepen your understanding of the human condition but it will make you laugh and it might even make your heart swell with its unorthodox but sweetly good-natured take on friendships and the bonds that make and keep them.



I May Be Bad, But I’m Perfectly Good At It

I’m not sure who we have to thank for the level of raunch/profanity that comedic flicks of late have achieved (The Hangover? Or Bridesmaids, perhaps?), but I, for one, surely am grateful.  Two movies I’ve recently watched way surpassed my expectations and, in both cases, it’s at least in part due to the vulgar content.

The Change-Up is a tale that’s told every few years and is as predictable as it is unrealistic.  Two people magically switch bodies, can’t change back until a set number of weeks has passed, screws up the other’s life for a few days but eventually, after walking in the other’s shoes, learns a thing or two about their counterpart and their relationship is forever enriched.  It was father and son in 1987’s Like Father Like Son and in 1988’s Vice Versa.  The story took a little spin in 2003 when mother and daughter switched in Freaky Friday.  This time around, it isn’t relatives but life-long friends Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman) who swap bodies and, therefore, lives.  Mitch is the slacker, pseudo-actor who beds a different woman every night of the week while Dave works his butt off to make partner in his law firm and still find time for his wife and 3 kids.  Predictable?  Yes.  Cheesy?  Yes.  Anywhere near the realm of possibility?  Nope.  Nevertheless, it works.  What sets this silly tale apart from its predecessors is the fact that it’s rated R, and with good reason.  I’m not sure that a single sentence was uttered that didn’t contain at least one profane word, most of them being the revered F-bomb.  The humor was crude, vulgar and, much of the time, extremely sexual in nature.  Nude breasts abound, alcohol and marijuana use were rampant and the word ‘masturbation’ popped up within the first half-hour.  This is my kind of movie.

What really drove it home were the performances given by the flick’s two main leads.  Reynolds and Bateman are comedic geniuses.  I’ve loved RR since Van Wilder.  In my book, his dry, witty sarcasm just doesn’t get any better.  As much as I love him, and as hilarious as his performance truly was, he frequently got trumped by his co-lead.  Jason Bateman is wonderfully funny.  He’s capable of the outrageous and the ironic, the dry deadpan and the slapstick.  He’s rapidly becoming a favorite of mine.  Hearing him say things like: “That puts my balls on your chin by dinner” makes me as happy as Sunday afternoon nookie.

The second surprisingly profane movie I’ve seen lately came out last year but I’ve only just gotten around to watching it.  Going The Distance stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long as two lovers living on opposite sides of the nation, trying to make the long-distance thing work.  Barrymore’s performance is uneven and it didn’t give me the cuddly “awww” feeling that my all-time favorite romantic comedies inspire, but the writing is good and overall, it is damn funny.  Long and Barrymore have adorable chemistry and the side characters, including Charlie Day, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis and Jim Gaffigan, get loads of laughs.  Binge-drinking, bong-smoking and sex on the dinner table ensue, not to mention the near-constant stream of F-words.  Fuck, how I love the F-word.

The best line was delivered by Christina Applegate in reference to her extracurricular activities: “Dry humping is no fucking joke!”  Indeed, madam.  Indeed.


You’re Just A Step On the Boss Man’s Ladder

Horrible Bosses is a consistently funny, harebrained, and slightly frustrating comedy from a lot of people who have made a lot of things you probably like.  A lot.

A group of three friends, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, all suffer the misery that most of us endure on a never-ending, constant basis (although, probably without the super bad drugs and homicide):  They despise the shit out of their bosses, who are each suffering from severe mental issues ranging from sociopathy, psychosis, nyphomania, and being a ginormous cokehead.  The buddies get the brilliant idea to exterminate all three of the crazy f***ers, and it’s to the writers’ credit that this is handled in an organic way, making it seem (almost) not that crazy.  Let’s just move past the fact that I find it “not that crazy”….

Needless to say, madcap, hair-brained lunacy ensues (this is the kind of movie where you want to pull your hair out over the stupid mistakes everyone is making – don’t leave your DNA at the crime scene, moron!  Don’t drop your f***ing cell phone!), but the plot had a few twists that actually surprised me.  The director, Seth Gordon, has a resume of some awesome stuff (NBC comedies Parks and Recreation, The Office), along with Four Christmases, which is the complete and total opposite of awesome, but also The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which is completely awesome.  So, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, and this falls somewhere in between those two realms.  It’s not crazy awesome, but isn’t crazy bad, either.

One of the main reasons this film works is because of the cast.  Each of our fearless heroes plays to their strengths, i.e. the same kind of character they usually play:  Bateman – the frazzled straight man, Sudeikis – the sarcastic man-child, and Day – Charlie from Sunny with better hygiene and a higher IQ.  But that’s fine, because these guys do these guys SO DAMN WELL.  As for the bosses – oh my, the bosses.  Jennifer Aniston gets to step outside of her usual comfort zone of being the bland lead in a romantic comedy bomb to become a batshit nympho.  She utters phrases that would have made Rachel Green weep with shame.  The always majorly badass Kevin Spacey really gets into this one, playing a COMPLETE dick/jerk/evil, evil asshole, who is quite open about making Bateman’s life a living hell.  Colin Farrell is the spoiled, entitled son of Sudeikis’s employer, who inherits his dad’s business but only wants to bang hookers, do tons of drugs, and fire everyone.  And I haven’t even mentioned Jamie Foxx’s “hitman” MotherF***er Jones.

This was no Bridesmaids, but it certainly holds its own in a landscape littered with scraps like Bad Teacher and Your Highness.  The sturdy writing and chemistry-rific cast make up for a slightly flimsy story, even if that’s part of Bosses’ charm.