'The Overnight': Adam Scott and Co. have a soft spot for their hard-R comedy

'The Overnight': Adam Scott and Co. have a soft spot for their hard-R comedy
From left, Jason Schwartzman, Judith Godreche, Patrick Brice, Adam Scott and Naomi Scott of "The Overnight." (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Sleepovers, generally speaking, are meant to be more fun for the kids than the parents. But that's decidedly not the case in "The Overnight," the new relationship comedy starring Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godreche as two couples whose first play date gets decidedly weird in the wee hours of the night.

Written and directed by Patrick Brice, "The Overnight" begins innocently enough, with a pair of Seattle transplants (Scott and Schilling) striking up a potential friendship with a quirky water-filter salesman and his free-spirited French wife (Schwartzman and Godreche). What follows — without giving too much away — is unabashedly raunchy, occasionally creepy and surprisingly sweet.


At a recent installment of the Indie Focus Screening Series, Scott, Schwartzman, Godreche, Brice and producer Naomi Scott (Adam's wife) chatted with The Times' Mark Olsen about the making and meaning of the offbeat movie.

Adam Scott said he was drawn to the mix of humor and emotion in Brice's script, which "was very funny, but it really cut to the heart at the same time." Of his and Schilling's characters, Scott said, "Both of us don't know it, but we are two people who are really eager to shed this skin and kind of reinvent ourselves a little bit. … These two people are ready to go through a change and they don't know it until this night sort of happens to them."

What happens to them over the course of the fateful evening involves copious amounts of booze and pot, questionable art, skinny dipping, a creepy massage parlor, Oreo cookies, living-room dancing, and more.

Godreche too expressed admiration for how Brice constantly modulates tone (as the above list indicates). His work, she said, "is always combining humor and sweetness, but it's always a little scary. You kind of don't know where you're walking, and I like that idea because it brings something to the sexiness of the entire film."

Godreche also said she enjoyed the "weird atmosphere" of the movie, which was shot with a small crew in 12 days and 11 nights. Of making "The Overnight," she said, "I'm supposed to be very open-minded because I'm French, but it totally opened my mind, actually."

On the topic of open-mindedness, Naomi Scott also addressed an, ahem, elephant in the room — namely, whether frontal nudity scenes with  Scott and Schwartzman prompted any ratings problems with the MPAA.

The producer said there were ultimately no disputes, perhaps because the filmmakers did their homework.

"I remember Patrick and I, we had a long prep time together and we were working on [Scott and Schwartzman's] prosthetics — they are both prosthetics — and we ended up Googling ratings for full-frontal nudity," Naomi Scott said.

Specifically, they looked up states of arousal. "As long as we didn't hit that state of arousal, we felt comfortable showing what we showed," she said.

She paused amid audience laughter, then added, "But yeah, it's a hard-R."

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