thu 01/10/2020

Two Night Stand | reviews, news & interviews

Two Night Stand

Two Night Stand

Tired if well-acted romcom leaves you waiting for the snow to melt

Roll over, Beethoven? Analeigh Tipton and Miles Teller make hay during a snowstorm in 'Two Night Stand'

A New York blizzard so intense that people can't get out the front door traps a random couple who have hooked up online into a rather longer mating dance than they had anticipated. That's the essence of Two Night Stand, the debut film from director Max Nichols (son of the late, great Mike, who died in November) that prolongs a wearyingly cute premise well past breaking-point.

A New York blizzard so intense that people can't get out the front door traps a random couple who have hooked up online into a rather longer mating dance than they had anticipated. That's the essence of Two Night Stand, the debut film from director Max Nichols (son of the late, great Mike, who died in November) that prolongs a wearyingly cute premise well past breaking-point.

That one sticks with the goings-on at all pays credit to the cast of what is essentially a two-hander: the large-eyed Analeigh Tipton and the ever-remarkable Miles Teller, the Whiplash star here cast as a horndog Brooklynite who, in one of screenwriter Mark Hammer's stranger plot twists, learns the value of commitment only once the woman he decides he actually fancies is landed with a criminal record.

In a previous era, these roles might have been played by Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert or Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, and Teller and Tipton (pictured right) certainly have the feistiness and intelligence to hold their own against many a screen forbear. What's missing is a sufficiently varied narrative engine to keep this extended conceit on track; you may find yourself wishing the snow would melt long before the characters do. 

When first encountered, a newly-jilted, relationship-wary Megan (Tipton) is flopping about her apartment idly whiling away the hours – wasting them, even, or so argues her roommate (Jessica Szohr), who thinks Megan should be out there playing the field and getting laid. To that end, out comes Megan's laptop and a flurry of messages with multiple (and inevitably unsuitable) men before she alights upon Alec (Teller) for what is meant to be a hassle-free roll in the hay. Off into the world of no-strings sex she goes even as her advice-heavy roomie gets it on big-time with a main squeeze, Cedric (Scott Mescudi, pictured below with Szohr), of her own. 

The assignation takes a complicated turn when New York finds itself ensnared in a snowstorm of comically epic proportions, Michael Showalter popping up now and again as a fear-mongering weatherman given to headlines like "apocalypse snow". So when Megan attempts the next morning to beat a discreet retreat back home, she finds the elements have other things in store, thereby allowing ample opportunity for the two to criticise one another's love-making preferences or technique (keeping the lights on or off is among the topics of contention). Megan even manages over time to get Alec's name right – she insists at the start on calling him Alex – in a rather lame attempt to shift the conversation away from g-spots: The Graduate was never like this. 

It's giving little away to report that the pair's rancour eventually shifts to something else via an increasingly preposterous scenario that makes one wonder whether the NYPD doesn't have more pressing cases to attend to on New Years Eve. Teller and Tipton survive it all with grace, his quietly soulful mien complementing her sharp-tongued asperity, itself the product of having been wounded too many times. I don't know how comfortable these actors are with Shakespeare but someone might want to try tossing The Taming of the Shrew their way.  

Overleaf: watch the trailer for Two Night Stand


 

What's missing is a sufficiently varied narrative engine to keep this extended conceit on track

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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