In Max Nichols’s Two Night Stand, two twentysomething strangers size one another up online and meet up for a no-strings shag. Sounds like an advertisement for love in the era of Tinder, but their connection is really more inspired by Yelp. Megan (Analeigh Tipton) is drunk and desperately trying to prove to herself and her roommates that she’s over her ex-fiancé.
Alec is, well, a generic guy given slightly more gravitas by the fact that he’s played by Miles Teller, a promising talent who needs to stop trying to prove his bro cred. Awakening to an ill-timed snowstorm that has locked down Manhattan, the trapped twosome pass the time giving each other customer reviews: They rate their bonking a three out of five stars (and one another’s personality a notch lower) and then get more specific.
She needs to leave the lights on and strip more suspensefully, he needs to stop hammering away like a woodpecker and quit spelling the alphabet on her lady bits with his tongue. Honest? Sure. Romantic, funny, and charming? Not even close. The problem isn’t that these lustbirds suffer no delusions about their temporary affair.
It’s that Nichols and screenwriter Mark Hammer can’t commit to the cynicism. Instead, just when it has almost swayed us to see something practical and lovely in this liaison apathique, Two Night Stand panics and rushes to reassure the moralists and handwringers that Megan and Alec are, like, zOMG, so perfect for one another after all. To be convinced of that, we’re going to need a lot more wine.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 24, 2014