"Young Adult," the new film from screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman, offers a chilling twist on a time-tested formula. Our heroine, if you can call her that, is Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), a beautiful former prom queen who returns home to rekindle the flame with her high school boyfriend. Classic rom-com setup, except that the ex-boyfriend is married with a newborn baby -- and Mavis, in Cody's darkly comic telling, is soon revealed to be an alcoholic, narcissistic, sociopathic stalker. Mavis is assisted in her quest -- reluctantly, to say the least -- by Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), a lifelong geek who is dazzled by Mavis's beauty even as he recoils at her heedless depravity.
As the film's opening date approached, Cody and Oswalt joined Huffington Post founding editor Roy Sekoff for a conversation at the Los Angeles home of Arianna Huffington. Their lively and wide-ranging discussion touched on Cody's inspiration for writing the script, Patton's preparation for the role (and -- SPOILER ALERT -- his awkward sex scene with Theron), the film's provocative structure and themes, and the harsh truth that people like Mavis, both male and female, do indeed "walk among us."