The Layover

Studio: Vertical Entertainment
Directed by William H. Macy

Sep 08, 2017 Web Exclusive
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When I heard William H. Macy was directing The Layover – a frenemies sex comedy with Alexandra Daddario and Kate Upton – I was eager to give it a view. With a simple plot and female-led cast, The Layover sounds promising on paper. However, what should have been a successful and outrageous comedy with two girlfriends fighting dirty, we’re given something predictable and excruciatingly unpleasant. With so much focus and talk on women in film this year, The Layover has zero justifications to have one-dimensional and uncomfortably stereotypical women front and center. Even the trope of the carefree blonde and uptight brunette is particularly maddening for 2017 (spoiler: our blonde sports some thick rimmed glasses at the end of the film so we know that she’s smart and getting her life together). The Layover is not only tedious, but clueless when it comes to how women interact with each other.

With Kate (Alexandra Daddario) and Meg (Kate Upton) experiencing some low points, personally and professionally, they decide to take a spontaneous vacation. With an extended layover in St. Louis due to a hurricane warning, the two best friends engage in a frenzied competition to win over the handsome Ryan (Matt Barr). What follows is a mean-spirited and vicious battle between two women who are supposed to be best friends. The Layover doesn’t seem to be interested at all in developing Kate and Meg’s complex friendship. Instead, we’re forced to watch them go through embarrassingly bizarre lengths to win over a man they only just met and know nothing about. If you’re expecting an odd-couple situation with plenty of playful high-jinks and hilarity, it’s disappointing to discover that Kate and Meg are often portrayed as cruel and just plain spiteful. It’s nearly impossible to suspend any disbelief that these women are willing to destroy a lifelong friendship over a dull and attractive stranger just for a sexual conquest and bragging rights over the other.

What is ultimately obnoxious, besides the lack of focus on Kate and Meg’s convoluted friendship, is just how quick the film mends the shattered mess of it. Kate and Meg are only able to come together within the context of a foreseeable twist which reveals that Ryan only had selfish intentions and is just as awful. It’s not only horribly predictable, but it doesn’t make up for the destructive hell that Kate and Meg have put each other through from panic attacks, slipped pills, and even Kate being trapped in the most nauseating washroom since Trainspotting. When it comes to understanding female friendship, David Hornsby and Lance Krall’s ham-handed attempt at screenplay is not only oblivious, but embarrassing. To put it simply, The Layover is just a bad movie.

Author rating: 1/10

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