Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling portray Alex and Emily, two parents who just moved to the hipster yet yuppie neighborhood of Silver Lake, in their latest film The Overnight. While exploring the local park with their young son, Alex meets Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) who invites the recent transplants to his home for dinner after their sons take a liking to one another. As the meal winds down to a close, Kurt and his zealous French wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) do whatever they can to make the couple stay. The two boys are tucked into bed upstairs and sung to sleep by Kurt, and then things get weird. "It's very clumsy in a way. We're making very clumsy choices," Godrèche shares of the couple's tactics, which include offering their houseguests pot and showing an instructional video Charlotte "acts" in for breast milk pumps. The story is raucous and wildly entertaining but contains an underlying truthfulness to it that sits with you once the laughs have worn off.
The Overnight, a sex comedy written and directed by Patrick Brice, started kicking into gear when Mark Duplass shared the script with Adam Scott and his wife, producer Naomi Scott. They read the script separately and when they reconvened both knew they had to make the film. It dealt with some graphic content they weren't sure they were comfortable with, but they, along with the rest of the cast, felt the need to bring this crazy, insane night to life. "A lot of times movies effectively neuter parents. They're no longer sexual beings. It's that idea of still being sexual or still wanting, still exploring things. I don't know if that ever goes away. I think it may just be we don't see the stories of the reality of what's going on. There's a transition before you have a family and afterwards. It's not that the sexuality goes away, it just changes," Schilling shares. The Overnight goes against the oversaturated, targeted media that caters to a limited demographic. Much like Land Ho! did with its senior cast, The Overnight shows that novelty, growth, and hijinks can occur at any age and shouldn't be swept under the rug.
Of the hijinks and sexual natural of the film, two prosthetic penises worn by the male leads has been the hot topic of the movie. It's hard to shake the image from your mind and elicits, quite obviously, strong reactions. According to Schwartzman, not every person got the memo that his schlong wasn't the real thing. "[Adam]'s always the one that brings that up and I realized [during SXSW] that he wasn't at that Q&A. I was talking and this woman was like, 'I just want to say a big shoutout to male nudity! And your penis!!' I was like, thank you. I hit a moment in my brain when I said, [do] I tell her that this is not real or [do] I just go with it that it's real? I just went with it being real because she was so happy about male nudity, and cinema, and my penis, and I just couldn't break her heart."
"I was really scared by this script," Scott recalls of his first reaction after reading it. "As an actor, it freaked me out a little bit but also I related to it because I felt like you spend your 20's figuring out who you are. You spend your 30's cementing that and really putting yourself into a slot of who you are, how you view the world, and your perception of how the world looks at you. Those things are pretty firmly established usually, especially if you have kids and get married and all that sort of stuff. For these two people, all of that gets turned upside-down in a couple of hours. I thought that was really interesting and I related to that. What if everything I kind of perceived about myself and my marriage and my body, everything just completely reversed itself over a dinner? How would I react?"
"When you're in a relationship, a longterm relationship, you fuse as two people, you are growing together. Just as it's important that you grow as a couple, it can be overlooked that you're continuing your individual growth and interests so that you're constantly bringing something back to your relationship. When you start to move too much [as] a unit and only a unit, what happens then? What happens in a relationship if one person questions something or grows in some way?" Schwartzman explains of what compelled him most about the film. "They're all out of alignment like a spine and sometimes these moments adjust you. I think it's about trying to be very clear to your spouse about where you're at. In the beginning of the movie when Adam and Taylor are in bed, it's not like they don't talk about his penis. But it's a weird thing where because they talk about it so much they think that they have addressed it, but it's not really. You know what I'm saying? There's a false addressing like, no, we're honest, we're open, but they're not really honest and open. They've put another kind of smokescreen up which is, 'we're honest and open!'"
While Scott admits they have the lovely problem of laughs covering up essential lines of dialogue, he, along with the rest of the cast, find audiences are reacting to it in ways they only dreamed of. "It leaves everything very open," Godrèche muses. "It's asking questions which is what I like about cinema because you don't come out of the movie with the answer. When I saw the movie I was like, 'Huh, would I do that?'" As if for if any of them have? The answer is no, or at least as far as they are aware. "I've never been in a swing-y situation," Schwartzman shares sheepishly then reconsiders. "Maybe I have but I just didn't realize it."