Interview With Patrick Brice

Writer and Director of “The Overnight”

Dallas, Texas, June 26, 2015

Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, faithinfilms.com

 

FIF:  First I want to tell you how much I appreciated your comic timing.  At the beginning, just when things were starting to get too weird with Alex and Emily, their little boy bursts into the room.  And then at the end, with Alex and Emily and Kurt and Charlotte, just as things start getting too weird, both little boys burst into the room, and the audience is laughing nervously, and suddenly the mood changes very quickly.

PB:  Thanks, I appreciate your saying that, because those bookend scenes were designed to provide comic relief, and to remind us that that's how life is:  we get ready to take ourselves too seriously, and something happens to just change direction entirely.  Hopefully those were moments that the audience could really enjoy together.

FIF:  As you know, I'm a faith-based writer, and so morality is always tied to religion, which is tied to scripture.  I'm just curious, in a non-faith-based situation, what is the morality tied to?

PB:  Well, first, I'm not a religious person, but I am a spiritual one.  I think we base our moral decisions on what we think is right, keeping in mind that we do to others what we want done to us.

FIF:  I also noticed that Alex and Emily, at least, had a strong conviction about a monogamous marriage.

PB:  Yes, and that's a strong value for Kurt and Charlotte, as well, particularly as we see at the end that they are seeking therapy as a couple.  But their firm commitment to their marriage didn't mean that they lost all interest in other people.

FIF:  You know, my wife and I had a similar experience to Alex and Emily, also in California.  We were visiting some friends, and they invited us to their hot tub, and when we objected that we didn't bring suits, they said those weren't necessary!  But we were just not prepared to take that plunge!  I think that the scenario you present in the movie provides some points of contact for people who suddenly find themselves in situations they didn't anticipate.

PB:  Yes, and that was exactly the point of Alex and Emily encountering this:  it tested not just their individual values, but stretched the boundaries for them as a couple, as well.  I've always been interested in pushing that envelope just a little bit, and seeing just how far those boundaries can go.

FIF:  It seems to me that there's something potentially therapeutic here.  The basic premise seems to be “Everyone is a little messed up sexually, because nobody's experience is perfect.”  So somebody with a set of hangups that are even different from the ones in the movie can think to themselves, “Wow, maybe I'm not so weird after all.”

PB:  Yes, that's definitely the intended response.

FIF:  And then maybe that could open up a conversation, a dialogue, that wouldn't have taken place before.  Almost like seeing a therapist, only cheaper!

PB:  And a good therapist would be helping them explore who they are as persons, and gain validation for that.  I think there was a strong breakthrough moment with Alex, when he was able to get past a very difficult obstacle for him, and whether the method was perfect or not, the breakthrough experience was long-lasting and valuable.

FIF:  You've got humor and depth, and you're not afraid of pushing the envelope in examining relationships.  I hope you get to do some more work; I think you have something to contribute.

PB:  Thanks, I really appreciate that.

FIF:  It's nice to meet you.

PB:  Likewise.  And I'd really like to read your review!