ALL AMERICAN ORGY

| October 28, 2010

At first glance, this film gets your attention by using such a simplistic title, which sets you up for what you’re assuming you’re about to see. In fact, even the cover would grab your attention at Blockbuster, or Netflix, using a buxom, yet faceless, figure to take up over ninety percent of the packaging. Spoiler alert, the hot girl on the cover is not in the film. In fact, if I had judged simply on the title, or the box cover, I would’ve written this movie off as just another raunchy, crass comedy that uses gratuitous nudity and dick jokes to gain an audience, but thanks to a well developed trailer, I took a shot.
What I found was a surprisingly clever tale of three couples, stuck in a rut, and using the last resort method of an orgy, to try and square away their differences. I feel writer Ted Beck touched on a great topic, which has been done before with St. Elmo’s fire in the 80’s and Singles, in the 90’s, but has yet been done right since then. Sadly, this film could have been capable of so much more, but at times lost my interest. Director Andrew Drazek had the perfect set up for a Hangover type concept film. Set up with people on their way to an orgy, the couple’s meet, insert numerous hilarious and awkward scenes before orgy, orgy happens, couples leave enlightened in some way. The concept could have been that simple, and that funny, but it wasn’t.
We open with Allen and Yasmine buying wine at a small grocery store on their way to Cumming’s Farms for their weekend orgy. Allen, late 20’s, and Jewish in a Woody Allen way, is not so sure about the orgy, where as Yasmine seems tired with Allen. Bored even. She might be going just for the experience, but has no desire to fix any problems she and Allen are having.
Rachel and Gordon seem to still have a passionate lust for each other, but Gordon’s drinking problem keeps getting in the way. Though he is witty about his issues, he seems to have no desire to stop. Rachel is the most attractive woman in the bunch, and she knows it. She’s the girl we all know who obviously loves the physical attention, but complains when guys objectify her.
Then, there’s Todd and Tina, the only couple who is married, and the hosts of the weekend of debauchery. Tom is a tad over the top with his creepiness, which made it hard for me to buy into the fact any woman would marry this man. Tina is obviously an oppressed pleaser. She’s very self- conscious, and seems to only be going along with the orgy because Todd really wants it.
The meeting of the six is awkward, with very basic set ups about Todd being a pervert who wants to screw all of the girls. Gordon is drunk, while Rachel flirts with the other men, flashing a bit of her panties to entice them. Allen is overly analytical, and Yasmine seems so detached from sex and emotion, that one could perceive she was once sexually abused. I have to stress, this is just an example, there is no indication in the film that she was ever molested or raped.
The stage is now set for what I had hoped to be hilarity, but instead turned into lots of conversation about relationships. Now, I love well written clever banter as much as the next person, but the setting is dull. The house is plain, the exteriors are foliage, and a lake. Todd keeps revealing more and more of his creepiness, while Gordon seemingly is an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. The story seems to want to show that Allen is the hopeless romantic, who apparently is in love with Rachel, and only came to this orgy so he could tell her. The problem is, I have no idea why he loves her. There isn’t even a hint at back story. It also takes about an hour into the film to find out her loves her.
The script is strong, and the character development is good, but I was left wanting more. I feel like maybe a few pages of script could have been added to the beginning, so that when it starts, we’re not just thrown into the situation. The director tries to do this, with separate scenes of the couples in their cars on their way to the farm, but those scenes seem to focus more on each of their own problems, rather than how they know and each other, and why they’d even agree to this.
When the story ends, I have no new insight on relationships. I didn’t feel a connection, cause I truly didn’t understand what the root problem of the relationships were. These people are introduced to us flawed. They are already over, and I have no desire to see any of them work out. The only story line I would’ve cared about is Rachel and Allen’s hook up, which never happens, but since I have no clue why he loves her, I also don’t care that they don’t have the happy ending.
There is also this tiny side story about a street smart drug dealer, who deals to Gordon, and somehow he ends up trying to get in on the orgy. It’s unnecessary, and I can see that it was an attempt at comic relief, but it really wasn’t needed. I would’ve preferred those pages be spent on the depth of relationships. I understand indie film, and I know that creating a film based strictly on dialogue isn’t easy, though there is one slightly R rated sex scene between Todd and Yasmine, but there is a way to shoot a film like this and make it more entertaining. I felt a little like I watched three couples go through therapy. It was a little depressing, even though it was supposed to be funny. I give credit to production company Phase 4 Films for producing a film like this in this economic climate, but it was just lacking some depth. And the ending doesn’t give us a clue as to what might happen. I don’t mind being somewhat left up in the air, the way The Break Up ends, but this film just has 6 people driving away in the car of a drug dealer.
My favorite films are the one’s that deal with relationships, and redemption. None of these people are good people, and that’s alright. It’s just that at the end, I didn’t think any of them were any better than when the film started. Their new alliances were murky. Their booze and drug filled evening didn’t even seem to have a long lasting affect on the next day. Everyone just seemed pretty content with how it all turned out, and I couldn’t even tell you how it all turned out. Great potential, strong script, but left me unsatisfied. Kind of like going to an orgy, and not seeing any breasts, or seeing some girl on girl action. When you think about it, I kind of felt like the film itself.

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