A Good Old Fashioned Orgy: Less Sexy Than It Sounds

A group of 30-somethings trapped in the amber of their high-school years attempt to bone their way into adulthood in this ensemble sex comedy. Technically the orgy of the title is conceived as the culmination of 15 years of theme parties thrown by Eric (Jason Sudeikis) at his father's soon-to-be-sold Hamptons estate. But underlying the orgy's proposal as the ultimate bonding session is the hope that it might help sunset the endless summer and edge these Gen-Xers apart. The big dilemma of the plot is Eric's growing attraction to the sweet but sharp-witted Kelly (Leslie Bibb), who charms him at the film's opening "White Trash Party" and then turns out to be the realtor trying to sell his father's house. Is it wrong to pursue a woman when one has an orgy scheduled? The setup is loose and largely funny: Riffs and one-liners fly from every corner, fast enough to avert the sting of the lamer gambits. But Orgy develops commitment issues to rival those of its characters when the central conceit pushes its way in, failing to settle on a dominant, orienting tone. Is the world of the film ruled by its high concept, its low comedy, its demographic credibility, or its romantic screwball realism? Ultimately, Orgy's refusal to be any one thing—including good or bad—forms a kind of epochal statement.

 
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