DVD Review: A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy DVDSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck | CAST: Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, Michelle Borth, Lucy Punch, Will Forte, Nick Kroll, Lindsay Sloane, Angela Sarafyan
DVD RELEASE DATE: 12/27/2011 | PRICE: DVD $26.99
BONUSES: commentary, deleted scenes, gag reel, featurette
SPECS: NR | 98 min. | Comedy | 1.78:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is a surprisingly likable, good-spirited comedy movie revolving around the kind of storyline that usually yields gross-out jokes and a whole lot of nasty/kinky quips (the kind that were were evident in Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses, among other 2011 gigglers).

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy movie scene

Leslie Bibb and Jason Sudeikis keep their clothes on — for now — in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy.

The film has got a simple story: Thirtysomething nice guy Jason Sudeikis (Hall Pass), who regularly mounts lavish summer theme parties at his father’s swanky Hamptons pad, must plan one more major blow-out before dad (Don Johnson, Machete) sells the house. Wanting to end the summer with a proverbial bang, he decides to plan the titular sexual get-together for his closest friends, not suspecting that they might need a little convincing to take it off and get it on.

Among his crew are a tightly wound psychologist (Lake Bell, No Strings Attached), an over-the-top John Belushi-type (Tyler Lapine, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), an uptight finance dude (Nick Kroll, Date Night), Lindsay Sloane (Horrible Bosses) and a newly married couple (Bad Teacher’s Lucy Punch and MacGruber‘s Will Forte) that resents their friends and don’t to be involved because they’re newlyweds.

Co-written and co-directed by Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck (who both count TV’s King of the Hill and The Larry Sanders Show in their credits), A Good Old Fashioned Orgy offers funny and sometimes titillating jokes that don’t come at the expense of embarrassment or pointed aggression at any of the characters.

Sudeikis leads the way here. His character comes up with the idea for the orgy and his light comic delivery and timing puts everyone at ease (both cast and audience) as they work there way up to the Labor Day party, which takes up the film’s final third. More sweet than sexy and offering only a dash of nudity, the orgy scene might not be all that realistic (can eight good friends really embark on an evening of group sex without any repercussions?), but it’s funny and effective and it doesn’t compromise the relatively “clean” comedy that leads up to it.

Who would have thought that his minor comedy (a film that its distributor unceremoniously dumped in theaters on Labor Day weekend with limited promotion and advertising) could be in the running for this generation’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice award?

Though an R-rated version of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy played in theaters, the DVD only offers the unrated version of the movie, which runs a few minutes longer than the original. It offers an additional dash of nudity and naughtiness, most of it in a sequence where Sudeikis and Kroll check out an underground sex club.

The bonus features on the DVD are also positively charged, particularly the making-of featurette, which finds the ensemble having a grand old time during the sweaty shoot in North Carolina.

The good feeling carries over to the gag reel, a six-minute affair punctatuated by everyone breaking up in laughter during one scene or anther.

The commentary, featuring Gregory, Huyck and Sudeikis, is a surprisingly low-key affair, with the filmmakers frequently getting distracted and talking about their own parties and experiences, much of which the film is based upon. Sudeikis is the most serious of the bunch, explaining how he had to focus on modulating his performance on a day-to-day basis as the film was shot out of sequence so he didn’t act “too adorable too early on.”

 

Buy or Rent A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Amazon graphic
DVD
DVD Empire graphicDVDMovies Unlimited graphicDVDNetflix graphic

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.