A Good Old Fashioned Orgy Review

This past summer has been known for the massive abundance of R rated comedies. Most were successful, like The Hangover Part II, Bad Teacher, Horrible Bosses and a few were not, like The Change-Up. But now with the fall coming in fast a few movies that might not have made the summer cut are getting some screen time. One of them is getting very limited screen time (currently at 143 theaters) and that is A Good Old Fashioned Orgy. I know what you’re thinking, that title sounds crazy and given some of the talent involved this one could either be insanely hilarious or incredibly dumb and I’m here to tell you it’s not either. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is a funny movie and kind of a good movie, but it wasn’t nearly as raunchy or silly as the title suggests, instead it inserts enough jokes throughout the film to keep you laughing, but its main objective is actually the story. It’s a fun movie that I got a lot of enjoyment from, but it might come up as a disappointment for those expecting another insane R rated comedy like the ones I listed above.

Eric (Jason Sudeikis) is in his 30’s and still doesn’t have much responsibility. Unlike most mainstream Hollywood films were they instantly play these types of characters to the extreme by portraying them as stupid man child’s, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy lands with more of a realistic and caring approach. He’s just a laid back dude that likes hanging with his friends at his dad’s beach house. Yeah, he’s not the most productive person, but there are plenty of worse fish out there. His group consists of Alison (Lake Bell), Sue (Michelle Borth), Adam (Nick Kroll), McCrudden (Tyler Labine), Willow (Angela Sarafyan), Laura (Lindsay Sloane) and Duquez (Martin Starr). They all have their own agendas and each one is slowly moving on with their life, while Eric and his pal McCrudden are only interested in planning the next big party. After contemplating all of their options they decide that the only real way to go out with a bang is by throwing a good old fashioned orgy.

The film follows Eric and McCrudden as they convince their friends to join in on the action and as they prepare for one night that they are never going to forget. A bulk of the film follows standard procedure, we get a character that essentially thinks an orgy sounds dumb and then Eric and McCrudden try convincing them, that fails, but then the character runs into some sort of personal life problem that makes them throw caution to the wind and give it a go. This happens for most of the characters and I didn’t have any problem seeing this sort of bait and lure trick play out a few times, because each character has responses differently enough to keep it interested.

I got to hand it to A Good Old Fashioned Orgy for sticking to its guns. Most of these films that propose wild ideas always end on the tame side due to characters coming to realize that this wasn’t what they needed and all that shit. I think the characters in the film do come to a certain realization of it all and almost a maturing if you will, but they still stick to the promise and deliver a good old fashioned orgy! I was willing to dismiss this film because while the jokes were good and the characters were flawed with a sense of sad reality, the premise is what sold this one and the whole reason everything kept moving along was to see how these wacky characters were going to pull off an orgy and let me tell you, they do it with style!

What really worked for the film was Jason Sudeikis playing the lead wolf. I think his exposure earlier this year kind of bounced around as forgettable. He was funny in Hall Pass, but his character was a complete idiot and there really wasn’t much left to like about him. Most of the jokes from that film came from laughing at how dumb and idiotic he really was.

Same can be said for his character in Horrible Bosses. He played yet another idiot that didn’t have any redeeming qualities. Luckily though, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy displays some of his better talents. He again plays a bit of an idiot, but this time he captures that idiot with a charm. Every group back in school had one of these guys, the guy that could manage to get by in life by doing nothing except throw insane parties and always charm the girls. His intentions might be a bit off, but he’s always looking out for the wellbeing of the group. Sudeikis finally gets to inject enough of his humor into a character that isn’t completely one dimensional. I saw why he wanted to have this party and how much it meant to him and I think that connection was really a strong point in the film. The concept sounds like something that you’d never imagine, but watching his character try and figure out his life and how to salvage some of the only fun he has left is really what gives this one a heart.

The rest of the cast is great and has some very solid chemistry. While Sudeikis does stick out as the lead, this is an ensemble cast type of film. If you lose one member of the gang, the whole thing starts to get wobbly. Everyone played off of each other well and each personality was vastly different to the point of it all melting together very organically. You have the struggling musician and his girlfriend, the business guy that won’t get off his Blackberry, the therapist, the two lazy guys trying to relive their golden years from college, the self-confident and free spirit girl that has some brewing feelings and the girl that was always sort of shy and lacking self-confidence. They all have their own set of problems, but they all know how to come together and have a fun time. I liked that the cast didn’t consist of big stars, but more so the people that you recognize but probably couldn’t say there name off the top of your head. Martin Starr was the only one I could instantly name; only because he is just so damn awesome in everything he does (Party Down, Freaks and Geeks, Adventureland). The rest consist of people that played side characters in films like She’s Out of my League, No Strings Attached, The Informers and I Love You, Man, all great actors and actresses that hopefully move onto bigger things.

Even a few bigger, but still kind of small in a mainstream sense, names make a few appearances, like Lucy Punch and Will Forte, who play the married couple that use to be a part of the group but are now dealing with marriage and a kid. They stop by from time to time to add some awkwardly funny moments. Punch doesn’t go overboard in this one and MacGruber, I mean Will Forte plays it kind of simple.

I see A Good Old Fashioned Orgy being a Blu-ray I revisit a few times in the future. The film is funny, but it’s not as extreme or raunchy as the title implies. I laughed hard at a few moments, but mostly found myself chuckling here and there and while that was initially disappointing, I later found myself actually engaged in the characters and really enjoying the time when they’re all together. They’re a tight knit group and watching them play through this whole situation was very enjoyable.

I wouldn’t say there is anything groundbreaking about A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, but I think it’s one that might grow with repeat viewings. I think it would make for a killer rental, but I almost feel like even that might be selling this film a little short. It’s most likely going to get the pass by most of the crowds seeking sillier stuff, but for those of you that do find this one and end up liking it; I think it will make for a surprisingly fun time. The film moves along fast, has a light story that is easy to digest and is generally funny. While it’s not a constant laugh out loud sort of film, I’d still say it’s full of laughs that make for a good time. The cast is perfect and really makes the whole thing worthy of anyone’s time. I’d suggest trying to catch this one in limited release if you can otherwise wait for a rental. It’s worth checking out, but not something you’d need to rush to.

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy – 7.5/10

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