A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Let me just say, I didn’t realize how awkward it actually was to purchase a ticket for this movie until I was up at the box office, where the innocent looking teenage girl employee asked me what I wanted with a smile, and I said “one for A Good Old Fashioned Orgy…” Right as the word orgy came out of my mouth, I immediately felt like a creep. And seeing as how I was one of 5 people in the theater, I take it she wasn’t hearing that phrase all day… A regrettable decision to not use the self-serve ticket kiosks this time (I had cash on me!).
To top that off, apparently no one has heard of this movie. I went to a wedding this weekend, and whenever I needed a go-to conversation topic with a stranger (i.e. what movies have I just seen) I think it was something like 0-for-15 on people who had heard of this movie. It’s a real, theatrically released movie, I swear! Instead I just got people giving me odd stares.
“You saw an orgy this weekend? Wait, what?”
“No, it’s a movie! Jason Sudeikis is in it!”
“Who is Jason Sudeikis?”
(Oh crap! He was like the only recognizable face in this movie… Abort! Abort!) “ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE NEW SEASON OF BOARDWALK EMPIRE?!”
“Oh yeah, great show!”
So just to assure you that this is a real movie, with real actors, I’m going to make sure to include the trailer at the end of this review.
But to the movie itself, I went in with very minimal expectations. It has a horrible RT rating, and the audience approval isn’t too hot either. I was actually planning on seeing Shark Night 3D, then I was informed that it was PG-13, so I vowed to never attempt to see it, ever. Apollo 18 got even worse reviews, and I was more in the mood to see a fun movie at the time, so I passed on The Debt (for now). So I went through the pervy process of purchasing a ticket, and didn’t expect much. However, I feel like I actually got something redeemable in return when I was sitting in my theater seat. ...From the movie! From the movie!
It’s a pretty good and simple concept. A bunch of 40-year-old drunks like to throw theme parties at Sudeikis’ dad’s summer house in the Hamptons. Dad wants to sell the house, so they decide to throw an orgy to close out their experience at the house. It’s nothing revolutionary from a structure point of view, but it did what I wasn’t expecting it to make me do very much – laugh. I laughed out loud more during this film than I did during 30 Minutes or Less and Our Idiot Brother combined.
The characters aren’t entirely likable or believable, but they do enough to care about maybe half of them. At the very least, the group has decent chemistry together. The acting is above average, for most people. You can tell a lot of it was improvised. Though, I have to say, I don’t really care for this Tyler Labine guy. He seems like he’s trying too hard. It’s like he wants to be both Zach Galifianakis and John Belushi at the same time; but fails at being either, so it just comes across as confusing. And Lake Bell’s character was pretty annoying/cartoonish. Basically the rest of the cast has recognizable faces if you watch a lot of TV.
I liked how the story took a few turns that you wouldn’t expect it to. It might have wrapped up a little lazily, but there were times right before that where it didn’t quite take the easy way out. I suppose I liked this movie more than the general consensus, and it’s a funny movie if you moderately know what you’re getting into. Expect raunch, expect some nudity, expect plenty of immature jokes, and if you’re down with that (I was), this could become a surprise comedy gem for you. I didn’t love it, by a long shot, but I liked it a decent amount. And would be willing to check it out again when it gets released on home video.
It’s not a smart comedy, but it gets the job done. But the trailer below paints it even stupider than it actually is. Kind of a crappy trailer. But at the very least it doesn’t give away the funniest jokes from the movie. So maybe it’s actually not a crappy trailer in concept.
Now I just hope I never have to deal with a movie title this awkward at the box office ever again.
For some reason, the promos for this movie are all over the channels my family regulalrly watches, and it has made for some uncomfortable moments in front of the kids. What part of assigning promos to adult viewing hours is so hard to follow?
[Mark Suszko] "For some reason, the promos for this movie are all over the channels my family regulalrly watches, and it has made for some uncomfortable moments in front of the kids. What part of assigning promos to adult viewing hours is so hard to follow?"
Now you know why I don't have a television.
Video production... with style!
I've seen some promos for this flick. I got the 'Hot Tub Time Machine' vibe from the promos, so I think I'll pass.
But that's OK because UPS just delivered House of Games, Hijacking Hollywood and Idiocracy.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair
Where were you on 6/21?
[Scott Sheriff] "I got the 'Hot Tub Time Machine' vibe from the promos"
You wouldn't be wrong to think that.
[Scott Sheriff] "UPS just delivered House of Games, Hijacking Hollywood and Idiocracy"
I don't know what the first two are; but you, sir, are awesome for purchasing Idiocracy. It's got what plants crave! I'm one of the probably 10,000 people to have actually seen it in theaters.
House of Games is a fascinating film, if you come across it, you can't tear away. And it has one of my favorite Chicagoans starring in it. Though you may know him as "Fat Tony" from the Simpsons.
[Mark Suszko] "And it has one of my favorite Chicagoans starring in it. "
And two great character actors, JT Walsh and Ricky Jay, who has done some amazing work for Mamet. (See: Things Change, Homicide, State & Main, The Spanish Prisoner....)
This was also Mamet's debut as a director, and stars his then-wife.
Also William H. Macy's first feature with Mamet -- those two are magic together. They also co-founded the Atlantic Theater Company in 1985 and its affiliated acting school in 1987.
Both Macy and "Fat Tony" were back for Mamet's next picture, Things Change, also starring Don Ameche, and co-written with Shel Silverstein (?!?).
House of Games is really good. Amazing that it only ever showed on a total of NINE SCREENS. Box Office Mojo only shows it playing for a week. I think it might have been a little longer than that, but it can't have been much.
Neither the trailer nor the hairstyles have aged as well as the movie, which is very much worth a look....