I scrawled the words completely unappealing people in my trusty notebook, sitting there in the dark in the early going of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy.
And by the end of this straining-to-be-hip comedy about a close-knit crowd of thirtysomethings talking about sex, and having sex, the characters were even more unlikable than at the start. Self-involved, obnoxious, emotionally immature, and holed up in a swank Hamptons house with a swimming pool . . . life is hard, no?
At the center of cowriters/codirectors Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck's putatively randy romp is Jason Sudeikis, the Saturday Night Live veteran, still trying to get his film career going. He's Eric, and every summer for as long as he can remember, he has played host to a group of amigos who jitney out from Manhattan to get blotto in his backyard. Not that it's really his backyard - the place belongs to his dad (a cameo by Don Johnson), who rolls up in his convertible with his half-his-age date and announces he's decided to put the property up for sale.
Uh-oh, crisis time: The summer began with Eric hosting a "white trash bash," and now, with the prospect of no more wild parties ever again, one last epic blowout is planned.
Wracking their brains for a suitably momentous theme, Eric and his slobbo best bud, McCrudden (Tyler Labine), have the brilliant idea to go out with a bang - a gangbang. Susan (Michelle Borth), who's always had a thing for Eric, is the first to say yes. And slowly, for various reasons, other friends agree to participate, too: Alison (Lake Bell), a psychologist whose boyfriend is a humorless jerk (he's German); Adam (Nick Kroll), a finance-world workaholic; Laura (Lindsay Sloane), who has low self-esteem issues, especially when it comes to sex; Duquez (Martin Starr), a musician, and Willow (Angela Sarafyan), his photographer girlfriend - an orgy it will be!
Complicating matters, however, are Eric's unexpected new feelings for Kelly (Leslie Bibb), the perky sales agent for his father's house. And then there's the fact that nobody really knows how to have an orgy, and so research is in order (watching porn and taking notes; visiting a "swingers" club in the back of a mattress store).
There's talk, when Eric and company are proposing the orgy concept, about how their parents' generation came of age in the '60s, when free love reigned, and how the high school kids today can apparently engage whenever, wherever, without consequence. But when Eric and McCrudden et al were in their teens and 20s, it was the time of AIDS - people were afraid to have sex. The orgy, then, is an opportunity to "take back what belongs to us!"
Wow, talk about rationalizations.
Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or email@example.com. Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/onmovies/.