Everyone has the occasional one night stand, and most certainly, everyone has his or her share of exes. Be it brief relationships that one could almost forget save for the few glimmers of passion or love, to the year(s)-spanning relationships full of ups, downs and everything inbetween. We all have them, we all know them and we all have nightmares of our current beaus running into these white elephants from our past.
However, what would one do if that actually took place? That’s where the new film Three Night Stand takes off running.
A new film from writer/director Pat Kiely, entitled Three Night Stand, arrived in Park City, Utah for this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, and while its rather solid cast may be the reason one will get his or her butt in a seat, this is a shockingly solid entry in the romantic comedy genre, a genre that, much like the film, has become as cliché-ridden as any genre around but when it gives a glimmer of life and vitality, it truly stands out.
The film stars Sam Huntington as Carl, as he and his beautiful wife Sue (Meaghan Rath) set out to go on a much needed couples retreat to a secluded bed and breakfast for some much needed fresh air, skiing and relaxation. However, when it is revealed that an ex of Carl’s happens to own this very bed and breakfast (a cottage that he and this woman know intimately themselves), lives and relationships get turned upside down. Co-starring Emmanuelle Chriqui (in what is likely her best performance in a minute), Reagan Pasternak and a scene stealing Jonathan Cherry, this film is very much a standard romantic comedy about how our oldest flames never truly burn out, but with a few great turns and some entertaining set pieces, this is a really charming entry in an ever growing genre.
The star here is the screenplay. Stylistically, Kiely doesn’t bring a ton of intrigue to the picture. Aside from the beautiful locale he chose to shoot the film at, and its warmly lit interiors and icy cold exteriors, the film lacks much of a real aesthetic hand. However, script-wise, the film is superb. Really funny and resonant, Three Night Stand is at its best a really solid look at how we as humans are unable to give our full heart to another no matter how much they mean to us, because as we love, chunks of our hearts go with others. And at its worst? It’s just a really funny comedy.
The cast across the board is uniformly good, with names like Huntington and Chriqui proving to be verging on great here. Rath and Huntington’s chemistry is believable and lively, and despite an odd devolution of their relationship near the film’s conclusion, they’re relationship is beyond relatable. As is the white elephant in the room, Chriqui as Carl’s “one who got away” Robyn, who really brings a lot of energy to the picture as soon as she jumps on the screen. It’s a superb cast giving really fun and entertaining performances all thanks to a script that seems to truly get what makes relationships so frustrating, so difficult and yet so important.
Overall, while it’s not a groundbreaking romantic comedy or a film that will be racing up anyone’s favorite films of the year list come the end of this year, Three Night Stand is a charming, above-average romantic comedy elevated by some really fun performances from a stand out cast. Warm and resonant, this little comedic gem is one that will hopefully find an audience whenever it has the chance to hit theaters and/or VOD.