- - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Partway through “The Overnight” Emily (Taylor Schilling of “Orange Is the New Black”) tells husband Alex (Adam Scott), “I think we’ve reached that point in the evening where we should leave before something crazy happens.” The young couple, after meeting hipster Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), are invited by the seductive stranger to move to Los Angeles to take part in his debaucherous lifestyle. Soon enough, Emily and Alex are well outside their comfort zone.

“The Overnight” takes full-frontal jabs at traditional family values and is for 2015 audiences what 1969’s wife-swapping satire “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” was to the Aquarian generation. Patrick Brice’s outlandish R-rated comedy of ill manners lampoons marriage, monogamy, body image, pornography, parenthood, same-sex attraction, gender roles, Californians and more.

“It’s subversive in the way he sneaks in this really emotional story in the middle of all these laughs,” Mr. Scott said of writer/director Patrick Brice.

“The Overnight” has probably the most graphic male nudity in a theatrically released feature since the explicit wrestling match between Oliver Reed and Alan Bates in 1969’s “Women in Love.”

Or does it?

The 34-year-old Mr. Schwartzman said that the actors, in fact, wore stunt genitalia. “It’s prosthetic junk,” he confessed about his well-endowed bohemian character.


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“The frank nature of the sexuality and nudity freaked me out,” Mr. Scott said. “I was really scared by the script,” which Mr. Scott and his wife, Naomi, co-produced.

The titular overnighters’ libidos are thwarted by children’s intrusions and marital restrictions; they seek identities beyond parenting and to reclaim passion.

“There’s a sense that often movies effectively neuter parents, like they’re no longer sexual beings,” said Miss Schilling, who played Dagny Taggart in 2011’s “Atlas Shrugged: Part I.” “That idea of still being sexual and exploring — I don’t know if that ever goes away.”

The couples’ topsy-turvy experimentation attracted Mr. Scott to the project.

“You spend your twenties figuring out who you are [and] spend your thirties cementing that,” he said. “Those things are usually firmly established, especially if you have kids, get married and all that 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 perceived about myself, my marriage, my body, everything just reversed itself over dinner? How would I react?”

“I really loved the notion of how much they loved each other and wanted this to work,” Miss Schilling said of her on-screen marriage, while acknowledging that Emily and Alex, nonetheless, are still seeking something. “Do you bring that all out into the open?” she said.

“There was a lack of judgment and malice in the relationship I found very refreshing,” Miss Schilling said of her character, who seems attracted to Kurt. “[Emily] so much wanted to make it work and, at the same time, wanted to listen to her own voice [saying] that things weren’t adding up.”

Mr. Schwartzman claimed that his character, Kurt, was key to the entire film, and how his mysterious personality plays upon his newfound friends.

“I felt like this is new to them,” Mr. Schwartzman, said of Alex and Emily, whom Kurt and his wife, Charlotte (Judith Godreche), host for the titular overnight.

“But we’re kind of clumsy, which is very charming,” said Miss Godreche. “There’s something very childish about the way we’re dealing with this situation, very playful, almost magical. [It] totally takes away the creepy side.”

The Paris-born actress, who appeared with Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu in 2010’s “Potiche”, pointed out “The Overnight” also spoofs celluloid stereotypes of the French as sexual sophisticates.

“I’d been offered so many films where I was playing a caricatural Frenchwoman,” she said. “Charlotte is pretty caricatural, but [Mr. Brice] is making fun of it.”

When asked if Americans inquire of her if the French don’t consider infidelity “cheating,” she insists: “Yes, [we do].”

The film was shot in a brisk 11 nights without rehearsal. Much like their characters, the actors “just met and did the movie,” Miss Godreche said. “We didn’t even really know each other at all.”

“The movie doesn’t make a statement; it leaves everything open,” she said of the film’s message. “It’s asking questions, which is what I like about cinema. It’s just happening in the moment. [In] life we’re on a journey, trying to figure out who we are.”

While conventional popcorn-munchers may find the film’s long day’s journey into night a bit too outre, more adventurous moviegoers will likely be glad they stayed — when something crazy happened.

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