Q & A With J. C. Khoury, Director Of "The Pill"

the pill movie

"The Pill" is about two strangers who have a one-night-stand and deal with potential pregnancy.

Do you believe in love at first sight? How about love at first pregnancy scare?

In The Pill, Fred (Noah Bean) drunkenly goes home with Mindy (Rachel Boston), a woman he's just met. The two flirt and play the drinking game "I Never." But there are a few important things they don't find out about each other in the process: 1) that Mindy's newly single, and 2) that Fred's in a relationship. Oh, and that Mindy's not on birth control and doesn't believe in abortion. (But no, she's not Rick Santorum.)

The two have unprotected sex in the heat of the moment. The morning after is blissful, until Fred finds out that there's a chance he knocked up the redheaded stranger beside him. He convinces Mindy to take the morning-after pill and accompanies her to the pharmacy. The two bicker about the situation — free-spirited Mindy thinks Fred's overreacting — and Fred just wants to flee the scene once she takes the pill. But there's a dilemma. This emergency contraceptive consists of two pills to be taken 12 hours apart. Fred's not sure he can trust Mindy to take them as prescribed, but he's definitely sure he doesn't want to be a father.

So the two spend the day together. Each hour brings them closer to the second dose, while also revealing all the lies that facilitated the hook-up in the first place. The film's plot is hinged on red flags — the ones we look for, and the ones we miss. But our obsession with dealbreakers is the reason people are dishonest in the first place. Sometimes we meet the right person at the wrong time, and sometimes the right person turns out to be the wrong person. Why can't we accept that?

YourTango spoke to J.C. Khoury, writer, director, and producer of The Pill, about dealbreakers, stereotypes, and getting off (pun intended) on the wrong foot.

YourTango: You wrote this film after a real-life experience with the morning-after pill. What happened?

J.C. Khoury: I was with my girlfriend at the time, and the condom broke. Being a professional hypochondriac, I was hysterical and just sure she was pregnant. She was calm, saying, "I know my body. I'm 90 percent sure everything's fine." But I said, "That's 10-percent reason why we have to get the morning-after pill now!" When we went to the pharmacy, we found out she actually had to take two pills 12 hours apart. So that's where I got my idea. What a ticking clock. What if a man and woman in this situation hardly knew each other or didn't trust each other? Would the guy stick around to make sure the woman took both pills?

YourTango: Some people assume that because a woman has to bear more of the burden of pregnancy, that she's always more sexually responsible than a guy. That's definitely not the case in The Pill. Read more...

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J.C. Khoury: Exactly. That's one of the reasons I wanted to make this film. Some people think guys are just like, "Yeah, whatever," about birth control. But sometimes the guy's the more neurotic one.

YourTango: We don't typically associate the consequences of unsafe sex — disease, unwanted pregnancy — with romance or comedy. So what is The Pill? Is it a romantic comedy? 

J.C. Khoury: It's been labeled one. The biggest criticism is that the characters aren't very likable, like in a typical romantic comedy. I don't agree. I think these characters just aren't perfect. They're flawed, but charming, people in a very awkward situation. No one's a hero or a villain.

YourTango: People talk so much about red flags to watch out for and dealbreakers, but The Pill challenges that idea. Do you think the focus on dating dealbreakers might actually be hurting our chances at finding love?

J.C. Khoury: Yeah. If these two characters had been in different places in their lives, there wouldn't be nearly as much drama. But they don't meet at the perfect time. She's just out of a relationship; he's in a miserable one. Because of this, they tell white lies. They're not as open and honest as they could be. But this sort of thing happens all the time in real life. It doesn't make them bad people.

YourTango: What love lessons should we take from The Pill?

J.C. Khoury: For starters, it's best to be honest about your relationship status and your views on birth control and abortion before you have sex. ... I'd say the biggest lesson is not to be afraid of being honest. It's easier to do it from the start, so you don't have to sort everything out later. If a person can't handle your honesty, then that's not the person for you anyway. 

YourTango: So I have to ask, how did everything work out with you and your girlfriend after she took the morning-after pill?

J.C. Khoury: Everything was fine. We're not together anymore, but it had nothing to do with that. No baby for me, but I made a movie!

You can watch The Pill on cable video on demand, iTunes, or Amazon. Find out more on Twitter at @ThePill_Movie.

Do you think dating "dealbreakers" can be overcome, or even bring a couple together? Also, who do you think is more responsible about birth control: men or women?

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