A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Critic rating:
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MPAA rating: R
Genre: Comedy
A surprisingly funny flick about a group of 30-something friends who throw a raging party in a Hamptons mansion.
Starring: Lucy Punch, Jason Sudeikis, Lindsay Sloane, Leslie Bibb, Tyler Labine, Lake Bell, Martin Starr, Will Forte, David Koechner, Don Johnson
Director: Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck
Running time: 1:35
Release: Opened Sep 2, 2011
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Editorial Review

Having a wild Labor Day weekend

By Stephanie Merry

Friday, Sept. 2, 2011

Remember the teenagers who traveled in droves to delight in the debauchery of the comedy "American Pie" in 1999, much to their parents' chagrin? Well, they've aged. But they're still up to their immature shenanigans; at least that's the case in Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck's preposterous, juvenile and surprisingly funny "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy."

The comedy, starring "Saturday Night Live" jokester Jason Sudeikis as Eric, follows a tightknit group of 30-year-olds, whose friendships date to high school. During the summer months, the New Yorkers make frequent treks to the Hamptons mansion of Eric's father, where they throw raging theme parties. Such classy affairs include the White Trash Bash, featuring mullets, tractor races, a few visits from the local cops and bean dip served in a toilet bowl.

But when Eric's father decides to sell the place, the team considers how to go out with a bang. And they decide to do it with several by planning an intimate evening of group sex, complete with a "Kama Sutra" theme.

This is where things start to feel a little like an "American Pie" sequel, only with different characters - and minus Eugene Levy. For a group of now 20- and 30-somethings, that comedy was the kind of resonant coming-of-age tale that a preceding generation found in the distinctly less raunchy catalog of John Hughes. Twelve years later, "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy" is geared toward that same (now grown-up) group, a set supposedly trapped in a state of arrested development - if various news outlets are to be believed - because of choices to marry and have kids later.

"Thirty-year-old guys were a lot older back then, with mustaches - and jobs," one character notes, looking in awe at past generations.

Many of the characters do, in fact, have good jobs, but their personal lives are another story. While two of the friends marry during the course of the film (after having a child out of wedlock, naturally), the remaining beachgoers are hard-partying and mostly unattached. The film even features an "American Pie"-style countdown, only instead of prom night (and virginity loss), this film points toward Labor Day weekend (and bacchanalia).

Given the title, it seems pointless to warn that this movie serves a certain niche. In addition to sailor-caliber cursing and the group's love of benders, the gags are childish. That being said, the cast is talented - the chemistry between characters is solid, comedic timing is impeccable and the actors seem to be having fun, which may prove contagious for audience members.

Formula and predictability crop up, of course. Eric falls for his father's real estate agent, and the burgeoning relationship threatens to complicate the group's lascivious Labor Day plans. Meanwhile, the requisite funny fat guy arrives in the form of Tyler Labine. He can be a lot of fun to watch, particularly with his meticulous care in party planning, as he takes notes while watching porn and seeks out the Mr. Miyagi of sex clubs at a secret establishment in the basement of a mattress store.

The movie's very existence could no doubt impel a rash of articles and research about millenial immaturity, wondering if this is art imitating life or life imitating art - and why won't this generation just settle down already? But it might be simpler to grab a brew, check your sophistication at the door and just enjoy the ride.

Contains a wealth of foul language, sex scenes and nudity.