Two Night Stand

Director: Max Nichols (2015)

This sweet twenty-something rom-com is happier cuddling on the sofa than swinging from the chandeliers.

A pair of perky performers employ their personalities to massage some heat into the weak script. It’s observations on dating or life are not fresh, clever or funny enough.

Megan (Analeigh Tipton) is an unemployed med-school dropout. One evening she’s to be sex-iled for the evening by fun-loving Faiza (Jessica Szohr) and her hot boyfriend Cedric (Scott Mescudi).

Their rampant relationship exists to highlight what a sad loser Megan is for being single.

To get her out of the apartment they kindly suggest Megan goes online to search for a hookup; guilt-free casual sex with a stranger.

Signing up for the first time to a website, she quickly establishes a rapport with Alec (Miles Teller) and trots off to his place on the other side of New York.

He’s cocky, she’s ditzy and both are charming. Although it’s pleasant hanging out with the pair, our smiles never give way to laughter.

While trying to sneak out the morning after a night of passion, Megan accidentally wakes Alec up. Before Megan can say Meg Ryan they’re arguing – but an unexpected and heavy over night snowfall means she can’t leave the apartment.

Having fallen out but now forced to spend time together, they agree to pretend they didn’t have sex. They play ping pong, get high and build a den with fairy lights.

When Megan blocks the toilet and they break into next door to use the facilities, it’s a sign the script is straining; to keep us engaged and the couple at each other’s throats, not at each other’s pants.

But there’s only so much to occupy them before they are dragged by the gravity of romantic comedy back to the bedroom.

As the conversation returns to sex, they agree to critique last nights performances; discussing along the way topics such as whether girls should fake orgasms.

Generally the advice they share is not earth-moving but this is the standout scene. Otherwise neither have much to say.

Possibly through boredom, desperation or a desire to shut Alec up, Megan impulsively decides to road-test their advice.

Alec enthusiastically agrees. Forewarned is forearmed and their earlier critique leads to improved foreplay, as well as success in other departments.

As the medium to longterm outlook for the relationship seems full of promise, it’s discovered one of them has lied about their single status. There’s a fight, the snow storm abates and Megan heads home.

Once the snow is clear the script has little idea what to do and resorts to a New year’s Eve party and a night in the police cells. It jumps through hoops chasing a happy ending.

Two Night Stand takes a staggeringly optimistic view of online dating and raises unrealistic expectations of what one’s first online date will be like.

Rather than embracing its open approach to the singles sex scene it retreats to reinforce the persistently perpetuated myth of the perfect one existing somewhere for everybody.

For all it’s emphasis on honest talk, it never explains why Alec wakes up the morning after the night before wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts.

☆☆☆

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