HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN ~ What'cha Reading?

HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN

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HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN
HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN, written and directed by Jeremy Lalonde, makes good on its risqué title, but at the same time plays like a fairly middlebrow indie comedy about guys, girls, regret and longing.  In 2016, such stuff feels like a downright quaint holdover from the indie-rich 1990s. HBO’s GIRLS and Showtime’s SHAMELESS, with their rather frank depictions of sexual hijinks among the neurotic, have made somewhat daring indie comedies such as this, despite its fair share of nudity and sex, come off as an agreeable but unremarkable exploration of sex among attractive white people in their 20s.

If no one proves a break-out star, the cast nevertheless is generally game and play their roles credibly.  Sex-columnist Cassie (a likable Jewel Staite, best known for a role in Josh Whedon’s FIREFLY) returns home for the funeral of her mother, whom she never got along with, and is crestfallen to learn she has received nothing in inheritance. Through one contrivance, then another, the actually-rather-sexually inexperienced Cassie somehow ends up organizing an orgy among her small town friends (and enemies) which she hopes will make fodder for a book she’s received a hefty advance on but has been yet unable to produce.

PLAN AN ORGY is the kind of film that came out weekly with some attention in the 90s, likely funded by healthy VHS and DVD dividends no longer easily available.  The film is competently shot, and maintains a slick, cute, good-natured surface, and seeing these attractive performers get into some wink-wink-hint-hint outrageous sexual situations is not without interest.  The film’s title isn’t a cheat either, as the second half of the film focuses on the resultant orgy and the various sexual perambulations the characters get into. Director Lalonde keeps the film lively, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is an early step towards bigger things.

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PLAN AN ORGY is slight, and perhaps too friendly to its characters; by not risking the outrage that comes with farce or satire, it avoids huffing and puffing and turning the audience off, but ultimately it also means PLAN AN ORGY is a bit inconsequential.  Still, I smiled throughout, and every once in a while the film hit a target head-on.  HOW TO PLAN AN ORGY IN A SMALL TOWN hasn’t opened theatrically in New York, but is available via the usual Video on Demand outlets. It might make a nicely bawdy change of pace for a happily married couple looking for something to watch together after the little ones are in bed.

Want to know where you can see it?

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Find more info at facebook.com/SmallTownO and twitter.com/how2plananorgy

 

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About Author

James Kenney reviews film for What’cha Reading? and is an editor and film reviewer at QueensFreePress. He writes fiction for Hooked, an iPad application featured on TechCrunch, Fast Company, Business Insider and CNNMoney, won a New York Foundation of the Arts fellowship for his screenplay Secret Vienna, and has a pilot, The Whip, in development at Spike TV. He is an English Lecturer at Queensborough Community College as well as Bronx Community College, and lives in Queens New York with his wife and two children. You can follow James on twitter @jfkenney and check out more of his reviews on http://www.queensfreepress.com/author/jkenney/

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