Well, I wasn’t expecting much from this. Arriving in the UK on the back of precious little fanfare, Two Night Stand is a sort of romantic comedy with a simple premise: what happens the day after the one night stand? Specifically, when you’ve had a one night stand with someone, and then find yourself unable to leave their apartment the following day, thanks to some cheap-looking CG snow on the outside?
It’s the conundrum facing Megan (Analeigh Tipton) and Alec (Miles Teller), who discover they don’t particularly like each other, once they’ve rumped, pumped and trumped. It’s Megan who’s the catalyst for the film’s narrative, as it’s she we see setting up the quickie online following the ending of her relationship with her fiancee. She merrily trots over to Alec’s place, and what we then get is a film that’s effectively a single-location stage play for the vast bulk of its running time.
Mark Hammer’s screenplay follows the path you might expect. There’s a lot of awkwardness, and then, as the two get to know each other a little better, things warm up slightly. By the end of the film, he’s made the effort – admittedly a bit late – to deepen the characters somewhat, and director Max Nichols almost seems relieved to get the pair outside just before the credits roll.
Considering the film is balanced on a contrivance, it’s only near the end it really feels over-forced, but by that point, it’s more a question of how much you have invested in Megan and Alec. I surprised myself: I still cared, and much of the credit for that goes to Teller, and particularly Tipton. They’re no Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, instead feeling a bit more real with some genuine rough edges to their characters.
Two Night Stand has a few tonal shifts, never really settling quite on what it wants to be. But the upside of that is because Nichols and Hammer don’t really settle in one place, it does mean the film has one or two interesting turns up its sleeve. It’s hostage to a point to its budget, as the single location does start to wear, and the pair do one or two things that don’t seem to sit right. Look at how Richard Linklater made the most of a hotel room for Tape, or consider where Ryan Reynolds spent an hour and a half in Buried, and it feels that more could have been wrought out of it.
Yet Two Night Stand is effective, entertaining, reasonably funny in places, and – whilst not really worth the effort of a jaunt to the multiplex – it’s better than its muted arrival in the UK may lead you to believe.
It’s far from being the best Miles Teller film of the year, of course. But it’s still a decent effort in its own right.
Two Night Stand is in UK cinemas from February 13th
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