Self-restricted by their punch-line premise, Gregory and Huyck fall back on their concept to an unbelievably cookie-cutter degree. By the time Orgy ends, it is nothing more than a turgid Vegas fantasy: random sex, t-shirts, and no consequences.
by James Hansen
With a title like A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, writers/directors Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck aren’t afraid of their central concept. Surprise, surprise – it actually is about a group of 30-something friends, headed by Eric (Jason Sudeikis), who attempt to configure an orgy as the final party in Eric’s East Hampton summer home. There isn’t really much development past this. Instead, Gregory and Huyck let Orgy wander hoping the cast provides the magic for their sketch.
The strangest thing of all is that it almost works. Despite his friend’s sexual inhibitions and concerns – “it’s an orgy, not The Accused” – Eric eventually convinced everyone to participate in the orgy. Just as this happens, he starts crushing on Kelly (Leslie Bibb), the realtor responsible for selling the house. Sudeikis gives a great performance, playing Eric as soft and considerate while also having a real connection full of in-jokes with his friends. Charming as hell, he builds a nice rapport with the chameleonic Bibb who manages to look like a different person in every scene.
Discussing the exploits of today’s teenagers, Eric hears that “blow jobs are the new French kiss.” However, his sweet and slow approach run counter to the nostalgiac desire to relive adolescence. For a few fleeting moments, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy appears as if it may turn the corner from a summer dude movie to an effective rom-com, carefully treading through the contradictory desire for liberating, meaningless party sex and the nurturing touch provided by a caring relationship and a series of small kisses.
Self-restricted by their punch-line premise, Gregory and Huyck fall back on their concept to an unbelievably cookie-cutter degree. By the time Orgy ends, it is nothing more than a turgid Vegas fantasy: random sex, t-shirts, and no consequences. While hardly unexpected, Orgy overlooks the good it has going for it in favor of easy laughs. Though it stands out as a surprisingly decent summer comedy, if Orgy has some guts, it could have been a keeper. Instead, it was only interested in a one-night stand.