A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
C+

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Over the past year, Jason Sudeikis has made a remarkably smooth transition from supremely capable Not Ready For Prime Time Player to cocky cinematic leading man. He carved out a niche for himself as a wisecracking cad with an insatiable libido in Hall Pass, Horrible Bosses, and now A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, a ramshackle ensemble comedy that finds Sudeikis so irresistible, it gives him competing love interests, one a real-estate agent played by Leslie Bibb, and the other an old friend (Michelle Borth) who has nursed a crush on him for ages. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy takes its cues from Sudeikis’ character and performance: It’s randy, good-natured, moderately amusing, and charming in a glib, facile way.

Sudeikis stars as the alpha male of a group of friends who regularly gather for giant blowout bashes at the home of his horny father (an amusing Don Johnson). Sudeikis’ cheerfully empty life is turned upside down when his father casually mentions that he’s going to sell the house. Sudeikis decides his party paradise needs to go out with a bang, literally and metaphorically, so they throw the titular fuckfest in an attempt to outdo every previous soirée. But do they have the chutzpah and conviction to go through with it? Can friendship survive sex? 

Writer-directors Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck assemble an impressive ensemble led by Sudeikis and Tyler Labine, yet another product of the Jack Black cloning factory, but the slapdash material often underserves the cast. The chameleon-like Nick Kroll and Martin Starr are wasted in straight-man roles as, respectively, an uptight businessman addicted to his Blackberry, and a neurotic would-be rock star who’s all too in touch with his inner Hamlet. Meanwhile, Bibb is stuck playing a thankless role best left on the cutting-room floor. For a mainstream American comedy, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is agreeably unafraid of sex, though its attitude leans heavily toward the juvenile side. As the title suggests, there’s something strangely wholesome about the sexed-up shenanigans here, perhaps because Orgy is more inter-gender buddy comedy than sex romp. Gregory and Huyck’s underachieving film is like a smart but lazy student who doesn’t feel the need to study. It’s good enough to pass, but could benefit from much more ambition.

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