"You can't keep me from dying, son. But you can keep me from living."
In a small town surrounded by rolling green hills and picturesque scenery, the elderly and religious residents of Kilnerry have built their lives around the local chemical plant. The plant makes a compound that is one of hundreds used in dog shampoo. The younger townspeople often leave for college or bigger cities as soon as they graduate, leaving the older residents bitter and glum; except for the town sheriff who finds comfort in the repetitive nature of Kilnerry’s citizens. Without warning, the EPA issues a mandate ordering the plant to alter the way it makes its chemical compound. The residents are thrown into a state of panic when they learn there is a potential side effect that could greatly increase their sexual libido. Chaos ensues as the elderly townspeople begin acting out, believing their behavior is beyond their control. The sheriff struggles to keep them in line while fighting his own urges. The priest embraces nudism as a way of “being closer to God.” The mayor falls for the town gossip, and they arrange a disastrous orgy. And the sheriff’s father, the mailman, begins to dress like Robert Goulet and accompany the town’s most devoutly religious widow to sultry dance competitions. A heartwarming comedy about the importance of embracing difference, change, and a youthful spirit.
The film went into pre-production in March 2017. They actors and crew began filming April 25, 2017 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Portsmouth was perfect for Kilnerry and the city officials and residents were essential in helping, not only make the movie, but housing many of the cast and crew, recruiting hundreds of extras, and securing locations that gave the film a studio film production value. The production wrapped Tuesday, June 7, at 2 am and had an impromptu wrap party followed by tears and goodbyes. A group of dedicated filmmakers worked 12-15 hour days, sometimes under challenging conditions, never complaining, and completed a wonderful heartwarming film. Everyone on set was equal, we all ate at the same table, and every cast and crew members became investors.
The story was originally written as an Irish play by Daniel Keith. Kilnerry was a fictional town tucked away somewhere in County Donegal, in the far northwest of Ireland. The play was workshopped for a year at Manhattan Theater Club by a group of incredible actors (Roger Hendricks Smith, Sybil Line, Sheila Stasack, Daniel Keith, Todd Butera, Peter Halpin, Skylar Gallum, DC Anderson, Kevin Gilmartin, and Madeleine Meigs). It was always read in front of audiences to see what worked and what didn't, sometimes cutting and adding entire scenes. By the last reading, which sold out to many industry professionals, the decision was made to try and take the play to regional theaters and build up its momentum and eventually bring it back to New York Off-Broadway. At the same time, Daniel began adapting the play to a screenplay.