'A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy'

A very likable cast and some terrific sketch-style comedy should please (if not deeply satisfy the lustful yearnings of) auds lured by the film's title.

Despite the preposterous, kissing-your-sister premise of “A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy,” a very likable cast and some terrific sketch-style comedy should please (if not deeply satisfy the lustful yearnings of) auds lured by the film’s title. Having a sex party with a group of your best friends promises all the excitement of Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice climbing into bed together, even if it seems about as plausible as “Humpday,” but the comic timing of this sex-saturated farce by writer-helmers Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck adds up to a winner in the laughs department. Samuel Goldwyn release opens Aug. 26.

Raunchiness is the film’s calling card, of course, and while the orgiastic aspects are relatively tame, the dialogue is smart, especially that emanating from Eric (Jason Sudeikis), a perpetual adolescent who lives to party. Luckily, Eric has his father’s enormous house in the Hamptons to party in, replete with sprawling front yard and pool. Unluckily, Dad (Don Johnson) has announced he’s putting the house on the market. Luckily, the real-estate agent is the gorgeous Kelly (Leslie Bibb), who isn’t averse to Eric’s attentions and wants to get together on Labor Day. Unluckily, Eric has just talked his closest friends into having a holiday weekend orgy.

Suggesting that all your best friends have sex with each other might only occur to a guy who throws “White Trash Bash”-themed parties and serves bean dip out of toilet bowls. But whether or not Eric is mentally challenged, he’s certainly a good role for Sudeikis, who delivers the offhand Gregory-Huyck gag lines with a light touch that, if not exactly sophisticated, at least reps a departure from the standard-issue sex comedy. While Sudeikis is in good company dramatically, none of the women gets quite the same chance to shine comedically. Tyler Labine, apparently a graduate of the Jack Black School of Dramatic Arts, is funny all on his own as Eric’s best friend, Mike, but he would be funny in an H&R Block commercial.

The women at first laugh away Eric’s overtures — the women, anyway. (The men’s participation, of course, is a foregone conclusion.) But Sue (Michelle Borth), who’s feisty and has always had a thing for Eric, signs on. Laura (Lindsay Sloane), the shy one, comes aboard, too. Allison the psychologist (the talented Lake Bell) initially sees the plan as a debacle in waiting, but then breaks up with her obnoxious boyfriend and consents on the rebound. Eric’s problem is in not letting Kelly know what he’s up to; the group’s problem is figuring out how to deal with two other old friends (Will Forte, Lucy Punch), who’ve just gotten married but want to orgy anyway.

Not knowing anything about orgies, Eric does research, which involves orgy movies, orgy books and a visit to a swingers’ club somewhere on Long Island that treats viewers to much simulated sex and bodies guaranteed to make the principal characters look like Victoria’s Secrets models by comparison. The titular evening actually gets off to a rather uncomfortable start, but once things get under way, matters certainly heat up, although anyone looking for even softcore excitement will probably be disappointed.

Production values are adequate.

A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy

Production

A Samuel Goldwyn Films release presented with Stage 6, in association with the Aura Film Partnership and Fierce Entertainment, of an Endgame Entertainment production. Produced by James D. Stern. Executive producers, Brian Etting, Ram Bergman, Christopher Petzel, Douglas E. Hansen. Directed, written by Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck.

Crew

Camera (color), John Thomas; editors, Patrick J. Don Vito, Anita Brandt Burgoyne; music, Jonathan Sadoff; production designer, Alan Hook; art director, William G. Davis; set decorator, Chuck Potter; costume designer, Leah Katznelson; sound, Carl Rudisill; re-recording mixer, Jonathan Wales; special effects coordinator, Dave Beavis; assistant director, Charity D. Ozarowski; line producer, George Parra; casting, Susie Farris. Reviewed at Tribeca Film Festival (Spotlight), April 30, 2011. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Eric - Jason Sudeikis
Sue - Michelle Borth
Laura - Lindsay Sloane
Kate - Lucy Punch
Glenn - Will Forte
Mike - Tyler Labine
Kelly - Leslie Bibb
Allison  - Lake Bell
Adam - Nick Kroll
Jerry - Don Johnson

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