“It’s funny because I can’t really think of any American films like this at all,” writer-director Patrick Brice explained to Indiewire at “The Overnight” New York City premiere Thursday night. “But my friend actually saw it at a festival several months ago and he said, ‘it feels like the American remake of a European movie, only you went straight to making the American movie.'”
Hitting the red carpet at Sunshine Cinemas in New York City alongside his quartet cast — Jason Schwartzman, Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling and Judith Godrèche — Brice was not far off in his comment. The story of two couples who go from strangers to possible swingers over the course of one bizarre night, “The Overnight” brings a maturity to the American sex comedy, a genre which has spent years mostly catering to teen audiences in hits like “American Pie,” “Superbad” and “Knocked Up.”
Speaking to the film’s more adult sensibilities, Scott remarked, “It really resonated with me. I related to it and I think any parent will. We have kids, so we spend a lot of time with other parents and we’re similar ages of the characters in the movie. You get to a point in your life where you haven’t changed in a while because you’re just being this rock for other people, and I think the characters in the movie are ready for a big change and they just don’t know it.”
The comedy first shocked audiences at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it quickly became a surprise favorite. “At first I thought it might play at small town festivals and the goal was just to hopefully sell it, but I never thought it would have this reception,” the director said. “Sundance was amazing and all my expectations for this film were exceeded after that. The fact that it became a movie that ended up playing at Tribeca and SXSW as well — it’s just been so nice as a new director to have a blanket tour of all the major festivals.”
Brice was thankful for the sex romp’s “nice ease into the public” through festival appearances, but the production was anything but calm and collected.
“We shot in 12 days,” Brice said. “We were going through 7-10 pages a night, which means you’re making these decisions that will affect your life at 2am, which isn’t the best time to be doing that, so making it was literally a dream.”
“You know what? It was perfect,” said French scene-stealer Godrèche. “We were so tired and it was going so fast that it ended up being just like the story of the film. It’s a spontaneous movie and there’s something very genuine about filming it so quickly. The more time you have the more overthinking you can do, and as you see in the movie there’s really no time to overthink these things.”
Schwartzman credited the successful shoot to Brice. “He’s truly an optimist,” he said. “I think when you’re working on that small of a schedule and shooting that many pages every night, you need an optimist because everyone is literally telling you it can’t be done, so you need someone like Patrick who truly believes, with all of his heart, that it can be. And that’s just inspiring to be around.”
Godrèch gushed about Price. “Patrick is a very subtle, cerebral and intellectual guy. When I read the script it was really crazy, and then I met Patrick and he’s nothing like the script would suggest. I tried to figure out what the combination was but it all made sense. That’s why the film is so smart. I love what he did with the script.”
“The Overnight” is now playing in select theaters.