When writer and director Jeremy LaLonde (The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard) decided he wanted to move forward with his sophomore feature film, he took a rather unconventional approach. He cast the film and then wrote the script. He says, “It’s far easier to write when you’ve got a voice of a character in your head, and even easier when you know exactly who is going to play that part.” And, he also adapted the old adage – write what you know.
The idea for Sex After Kids was born out of his own experience. At the time, he had a newborn and a three-year-old, as he said, “It’s safe to say that I knew enough about this subject to realize it was pretty fertile ground and that there were probably a decent amount of people who would appreciate a comedy about the subject.”
As with any film, Sex After Kids was a collaborative effort with the cast. From his initial story idea he engaged the actors to help in the creation of the storylines and characters. Discussions with the actors from the beginning were just part of the process, as Mary Krohnert explains, “Right from the first draft Jeremy was interested in what the actors had to say about their character. I definitely had a say in Larissa’s storyline. I think I was able to contribute only because he provided such a well-developed, interesting world to play in to begin with. His characters are so wonderfully human and delightfully flawed – it makes them easy to identify with and invest in as an actor.”
Jeremy attracted a powerhouse of talent despite being a low-budget production. He says, lightheartedly, it was a combination of blackmail and guilt as to how they came on board. Jeremy shot the film on weekends over the course of three months as most of the cast (and crew) has gigs on other series, such as Lost Girl or L.A. Complex, or full time jobs, which made for a crazy and unconventional schedule. As Kate Hewlett noted, “Shooting random weekends throughout the summer was a lot of fun, but not so good my easily confused brain. I could never remember which costume to wear. And I kept getting haircuts then remembering I wasn’t supposed to…”
Simply put, it can’t be a film called Sex After Kids without the sex. And Jeremy knew exactly how to do it, once again with an unconventional twist. Most sex scenes in romantic comedies lean toward being sweet, romantic and generally not at all realistic. Jeremy didn’t find that interesting, so instead he went for something different. He explains, “For me the sex scenes were never intended to be sexy. They had to be ugly or awkward and always honest. It’s a comedy so it’s meant to be exaggerated a bit, but our aim was to ground it enough that people could, unfortunately, see themselves in the characters’ situations.”