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Review: 'Good Old Fashioned Orgy' delivers comical debauchery

Jason Sudeikis, left, and Tyler Labine play a scene in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, the debut film of Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck.

Samuel Goldwyn Films

Jason Sudeikis, left, and Tyler Labine play a scene in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, the debut film of Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck.

By Steve Persall

Times Film Critic

Regardless of two movies this year on the subject, moviegoers haven't seen friends enjoying benefits like the pals throwing A Good Old Fashioned Orgy. The title isn't a tease. They go through with the plan, and appear to wake up the morning after without regrets that timid movies demand. And American movies are regularly timid about sex.

Not this one, although viewers seeking pornographic pleasures should look elsewhere. This is good, old-fashioned, pneumatic, acrobatic and creatively bashful sex. The kind that Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice planned to enjoy decades ago before copping out. The kind you might not wish to admit that you'd enjoy yourself. The fact that these circumstances are constantly funny makes the debauchery seem more wholesome than it is.

It's the debut film from writer-directors Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, graduating from TV shows including King of the Hill and The Larry Sanders Show. They make this movie as if they're certain they will never get another chance, and perhaps they won't. But I have no doubt that what's on screen is what they intended. This movie rocks out with no copout.

There's something liberating about that, and also nostalgic for flicks like Porky's, or more recently, Wet Hot American Summer, that folks grew up watching in theaters, convinced that the exit led directly to hell. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy could never be made in those days, but if it were, then a supreme smart aleck like Bill Murray or Vince Vaughn would be head horn dog in charge.

The baton is passed to Saturday Night Live's Jason Sudeikis, and he runs with it. Sudeikis plays Eric, who loves nothing more than commandeering his father's Hamptons estate for theme parties like a White Trash Bash, complete with mullet wigs and riding lawn mower races. When Dad announces he's selling the place, Eric decides the best sendoff would be an orgy among his closest friends.

Reactions are mixed at first, but everyone eventually gets into the groove. Most excited is McCrudden (Tyler Labine), a fat friend in the Belushi/Galifianakis mold. He accompanies Eric to an underground sex club for pointers in public copulation, gladly doled out by a skeevy uncle (David Koechner). Meanwhile, Eric's flirtation with real estate agent Kelly (Leslie Bibb) is beginning to look a lot like love, which would certainly cramp his orgy style.

That's the excuse Gregory and Huyck could use to back out, but they don't. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy remains casual with its kinkiness, although the rat-a-tat dialogue and pop culture references gradually lose momentum. Sure, this is a one-joke movie, but the joke is dirty, well told and worth repeating. Just not in polite company.

Steve Persall can be reached at persall@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8365.

. review

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Directors: Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck

Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, Michelle Borth, Nick Kroll, Tyler Labine, Will Forte, Lucy Punch, Martin Starr, Angela Sarafyan, Lin Shaye, David Koechner

Screenplay: Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck

Rating: R; pervasive strong sexual content, profanity, graphic nudity

Running time: 97 min.

Review: 'Good Old Fashioned Orgy' delivers comical debauchery 08/31/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 5:30am]

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