Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Max Nichols
Cast: Miles Teller, Analeigh Tipton, Jessica Szohr, Scott Mescudi
Release Date: September 26th, 2014
Two Night Stand is the latest romantic comedy that takes the premise of sex without consequence and brings that concept into a formulaic romantic comedy. In 2011, website both the lackluster No Strings Attached and the clever Friends with Benefits focused on this subject on the big screen. Both of those comedies introduced the subject of “friends with benefits” (hence the second title listed), the idea that friends can have meaningless sex without growing attached to their partners. Both movies then showed these friends falling in love with one another.
Two Night Stand takes that idea one step forward (or backwards, depending on your perspective).
In it, the previously-engaged Megan (Analeigh Tipton) lives in a sexual rut. “I’m nobody’s nobody,” she says to her friends. She sets up an online profile and ends up sleeping with the likeable Alec (Miles Teller), a Minnesota boy who has since moved to New York City. Their “one night stand”– arranged through an online dating site– ends casually enough. “Bye. It was lovely having sex with you,” Alec says as the disgruntled Megan walks out the door. Neither of them want to see each other again and they likely wouldn’t, except for a nasty snowstorm that prevents Megan from leaving Alec’s apartment building. Megan is stuck inside and the couple is forced to spend more time together, time that allows them to learn more about each other and ahem, fall in love.
It’s a predictable predicament but the script offers both the charismatic Teller (who has chosen both great features to work in and atrocious ones but few that are simply mediocre) and the bland Tipton little to work with.
In one scene, the characters despise each other and a few scenes later, they are hopping into the sack together to learn how to better improve their sexual skills. Oh yes, their second tryst is viewed as a learning experience for them both. Writer Mark Hammer was given a difficult assignment here. He was tasked with creating two characters who are willing to have a one-night stand together who then– over the course of a twenty-four hour period– go from disliking each other to wanting to end up together. Unfortunately, there’s little in the dialogue here that could convince viewers that that transition is realistic. Of course at the end of the feature, there’s also an unexpected roadblock that might keep the duo separated from each other but the roadblock feels as realistic as the dialogue.
Neither of these characters are even presented as nice or relateable people. Both are drifting through their boring lives hoping for someone to rescue them from mediocrity. Megan was a pre-med student who never wanted to go into medicine while Alec lacks any sense of ambition. In fact, the 20-twentysomething works in a bank and criticizes those who are actually ambitious.
His lack of ambition could serve as a reflection of the film itself. This “romantic comedy” qualifies as neither a romance or a comedy. It simply exists. And its existence alone is not a reason to see a film especially one that could have been a lot better and much much smarter.
Review by: John Hanlon