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Friday, May 13, 2016

'How to Plan An Orgy in A Small Town' Theatrical & VOD: Comedic Cluster F**k

Image result for how to plan an orgy in a small town (2015)

Gravitas Ventures adds another film to the list of comedies, which includes the Barbara Eden cult classic (and subsequent short-lived sitcom "Harper Valley PTA"), in releasing "How to Plan An Orgy in a Small Town" in theaters and through VOD on May 13, 2016.  The three Canadian Filmmakers' Festival awards for "Orgy" including the one for Best Costume Design adds additional humor in the context of the subject of the film.

Writer/director Jeremy Lalonde wraps this neo-Mayberry tale in the context of a neo-John Hughes teen dramedy. The opening scene has teenage Cassie Cranston suffer through an amusing series of events that begin with an attempted hook-up at a high school party going horribly awry and ending with a very prideful Lady Godiva style walk of shame. Her response to all this being a vicious article that leads to her current career as a sex columnist sets the stage for the modern-day portion of the film.

Cassie, whom Jewel Staite of the cult series "Firefly" and "Stargate: Atlantis" plays sans the wholesomeness of her characters in those shows, returns to her hometown Beaver's Ridge twelve years after the incident described above. 

Cassie discovers on returning in disgrace that not much, including the intense animosity of the town towards her, has changed. Further, aptly named mean girl Heather is still not so nice. One especially amusing (and telling) scene has Heather announce her full name on calling another character only to have that character state that she is the only Heather in town.

Aforementioned high school boyfriend Adam is now a wimpy attorney married to the domineering Heather. His talking to his old flame on the telephone while being "handled" by his new one ties with a latter one in which two characters are side-by-side engaging in outwardly similar but actually much different behavior as the most amusing "Orgy" moment.

Other potential "party people" include apparently very curious realtor Bruce, Bruce's promiscuous estranged wife Alice, and personal favorite adorkable record store employee Chester.

The ball (puns intended) starts rolling when Heather goads Cassie into using her assumed expertise to help the group plan the titular event. Heather outwardly wants to prove that she and the other folks who never left town are not uptight prudes as Cassie asserts. The truth is that Heather, like most of the other orgy candidates, has an hidden agenda that stripping down and getting it on will satisfy.

The understandable awkwardness and slightly less predictable residual high school attitudes of the group provide much of the humor. Topics of bickering include resisting coupling with someone who is considered undesirable for that purpose and the male-female ratio of the group.

As expected, much of the baring that occurs in "Orgy" is in the form of the soul. The spiritual happy ending that follows the physical one for each character is that they realize the importance of the adage "to thy oneself be true" even if they do not fully understand their true self when first considering getting it on with lifelong friends and neighbors.

Like most indie comedies, "Orgy" is not intended to be a laugh-a-minute or to include a line or a scene that pop culture adopts. Lalonde, Staite, and the rest of the cast do deliver an amusing film that is a nice break from the loud and crude comedies that tackle less risque subjects than orgies and often Melissa their mark. On another level, "Orgy" may encourage or discourage real-life counterparts of the characters to have the gang over for a bang one Friday night.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Orgy" is welcome to either email me or connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.