Taylor Schilling can spend years on a TV show like “Orange is the New Black,” but she only had 11 days for the indie comedy film “The Overnight.” Still, in some ways the two are similar. They both sincerely explore lifestyles that go beyond the heteronormative. In “The Overnight,” Schilling and Adam Scott play a square-ish Los Angeles couple who spend a long night with a more free-spirited pair, played by Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godreche. But things don’t go as you may expect. Our conversation begins after her going through a fairly epic photoshoot, which prompts us to talk about our mutual dislike of selfies.
I spoke to the German filmmaker Wim Wenders not long ago, and he called selfies a “perversion of photography.” His argument was that historically photography would aim outwards, and now it’s aiming inwards.
It’s this idea — I’m sure people who are far smarter than I am have written about this — but this idea that you want to share yourself as a means of connection, but you’re curating what people see. You’re isolating yourself more from people. You’re sharing a mask. You’re sharpening the lie. We’re actually becoming less vulnerable and connected.
And then there’s the way nice people can unleash their inner jerks on the Internet.
I have to stay away from the Internet now because it’s too intense. People are too cuckoo. On the other hand, you can choose not to engage with it but then you’re not being part of the modern world.
Over to “The Overnight.” I have to admit I thought this was going to be a film where a normal couple get creeped out by a weird couple, but the film winds up not only embracing alternative living but exploring the anxieties that come with it.
I think there’s a real sweetness to it, and a real kindness — a kindness in how it treats these people’s idiosyncrasies. No one’s making fun of them or judging them, as though they were evil swingers and great square people. There’s none of that. And there’s no judging their sexuality. There’s a kind, accepting lens through which this story is told. That’s what makes it fresh and interesting, and funny. It’s OK to laugh because no one is being judged.
Even Scott’s monologue about his atypically tiny penis is both funny and touchingly earnest.
It’s genuinely about somebody accepting something about themselves that isn’t socially acceptable. They come to think “I am enough, regardless of the outcome or what outside norms may be telling me.” It’s a ferociously self-accepting stance. It’s cool. It’s in the context of a small penis, but you can relate it to anything.