Movie Review: ‘How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town’ Is A Fun Filled Romp

How sexually repressed are you? Is your motto “There should never be an unused hole” Confused? Well, if you hail from Europe or really most places beyond the borders of the Red, White and Blue you know the Puritanical stronghold of values is still woven firmly into the fabric of “Old Glory.”

The filmmaker’s of this bold, awkward and highly amusing new sex comedy, with one of the most uninspired and clunky titles maybe ever, ”How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town” have taken a solid shot over the bow of American prudishness. While only Canadian, Neophyte Productions and writer-director, Jeremy LaLonde are surely hoping that American audiences will squirm in their chair and laugh out loud, as I did, at this tale of a repressed middle American town as it struggles with it’s own ingrained attitudes on sex and the ever enjoyable orgy.

Now on it’s face, who wouldn’t want to attend a party where any sexual fantasy that you have ever had about your neighbor or the bosses secretary, can come true? You show up with a hard-on and a smile and everything is groovy, right? Well as the denizens of this fictional town find out, even as adventurous and hedonistic as you believe you are, when the flesh starts to fly it is an awkward blend of ulterior motives, deep seated fears and long buried secrets.

Jewel Staite heads up an all Canadian cast as “Cassie Cranston” the jaded, big city sex columnist come home to bury her mother(Lauren Holly), the town jewel, who scorned her a dozen years earlier. At the tender age of seventeen, during her first sexual experience, about to profess her love for her boy friend Adam, played by a fantastic Ennis Esner, fate steps in.

As teenage luck would have it, Lauren Lee Smith’s character, Heather Mitchell bursts in at the moment of truth and scares young Adam off to barricade himself in the bathroom. Things only get worse when Cassie, naked, tries to retrieve her clothes that are locked in said bathroom with Adam, while Heather screams insults and threats her way. The expected “slut walk” ensues and Cassie runs half naked, through the streets of their little hamlet of puritanical values and is forever labeled the “town slut.”

To end the first act, an older, successful Cassie get the call from her editor that her beloved and estranged mother has died. So far the film is not much more than your run-of-the-mill teen sex comedy. The excitement comes in the second act as our heroin arrives back to her laughably repressed hometown. Cassie expects to whisk in, bury mom, collect an expected inheritance and fly out back to her modern, unrepressed lifestyle. Well, what fun would that be? Not too mention make for a short story.

The funeral is a disaster; Heather and her cronies have long memories and actually are aghast that she would even attend her own mother’s funeral! Then we meet the sexually stunted adult version of Adam, who has inexplicably married his ex-girlfriend Cassie’s nemesis, Heather. Heather, a classic Stepford wife is ruining sex for poor Adam by forcing him to “perform” several times a day. Heather is determined to be a mother by 30, even if it kills Adam.

We meet some of the other townies played by actors whose faces you will recognize from T.V. We have the typical losers, the sexy yet bespectacled vixen and a few wanna-be studs populating our fictional town. Talented actors play all of these side characters dutifully. The real fun of the film however, is the set piece, a small town orgy.

When Cassie finds out that her disapproving mother left her considerable fortune to the town, to rebuild the library, that’s the last straw. Cassie owes her editor a book and we soon learn she hasn’t written a word. Now to propel the narrative forward, her editor to my dismay, barely threatens her with a lawsuit for the advance money unless she comes up with a new book pitch.

This is where the kernel of an idea is pitched to Cassie that she chronicle the missteps and successes as this uptight, white washed town participates in an orgy to release themselves from their sexual demons. And out of nowhere, the idea comes from the ice queen herself, Heather Mitchell. If the filmmakers hadn’t done a nice job of setting up Heather’s unreasonable quest for a child and Adam’s unfortunate sterility, this storyline would have been completely unacceptable. But as it turns out, her totally unrealistic change of heart, spotlights her ulterior motive.

The film at this point is filled with sexual innuendo and outright squirm worthy situations, but you find yourself wondering, “What would I do in this situation?” This is the tenant of any good story. Cassie is sexy yet prudish. Adam is a total mess yet loveable. Heather is a megalomaniac and their childhood friends are suitably sexually inappropriate, as anyone that hails from a small town knows, there are plenty of people just itchin’ to fly their freak flag!

“How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town” won’t win any Oscars or maybe even break into the national conscientiousness, but for an independent film that I am told raised a good deal of it funds employing the crowd funding site Indie Go-Go, it is a fun-filled romp and worthy of a discussion as a precursor to bringing healthier attitudes about sex to our young nation.

Jonathan Chauser

Jonathan Chauser

Jonathan Chauser is a Writer/Director hailing from Long Beach, CA. He studied Filmmaking at Long Beach City College. Independent filmmaking has been his passion all of his life. In past lives Jonathan was a Radio Broadcaster working in California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and New Hampshire. Jonathan owned and operated a long haul trucking business in the mid 2000's. Jonathan has lived or spent time in all 50 states and he believes that these many experiences have made him a better writer and storyteller. Indie, character driven black comedies and psychological thrillers are his favorite film genres. In October of 2012, Jonathan moved his family to Dallas/Ft. Worth to be closer to his 12 year old son, Bailey. Jonathan is excited to become a part of Texas' storied Independent filmmaking community. His brand of storytelling is more character driven and lends itself to the independent spirit of Texas.
Jonathan Chauser

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