Baby Done15¦ DVD
Considering the global mess we all currently find ourselves in, the future looks worryingly uncertain. There are sadly no assurances of a brighter future, and along with it no economic recovery, no political buoyancy, or necessarily a medical solution that will kill off COVID.
There is only one guarantee we can be certain of – babies. Yes, after such a prolonged period being locked in our own homes, having finished Netflix and had your fill of online fitness classes, a global baby boom is the one inevitability.
This New Zealand comedy finds a young, outgoing couple, suddenly faced with the news that their world is about to expand.
When you reach a certain age, you start to notice that the friends around you start to fall off of your radar, and it’s usually down to one thing – starting a family. For couple Zoe (Rose Matafeo) and Tim (Matthew Lewis), they appear to have hit that particular age. But with a cool business of maintaining trees, and a zest for the adventurous, they have no plans of falling into that particular trap anytime soon. Until they do.
Zoe is certainly the less excited out of the two, as she sees it as almost a full stop on her existing life. Tim is a little more agreeable to the idea however, and sees it less of an end to the way they currently live their lives. But as the pregnancy continues, it puts further pressure on the couple, as they come to terms with the impact this new addition will have on them as a couple and each other individually.
It’s almost an unwritten rule that a film from new Zealand has to be quirky. And if it also happens to have Kiwi wunderkind Taika Waititi on board as exec producer, the quirk expectancy is at least trebled. Unfortunately for this film however, it’s way off the mark on the quirky front, adopting a more unfashionable silly approach.
Where the film struggles most is with its script. Its first stumbling block is the fact that when Zoe discovers she’s pregnant, which she is far from excited about, there’s no options to consider. Of course if she did agree to an abortion, it would certainly make the film far shorter – which would have been no bad thing in this case – but the fact that it didn’t even come up for discussion is concerning. In ignoring it, the film feels a tad pro life, by having a female protagonist who feels there’s no other way than to have the child in the first place.
The path the film then decides to follow is a curious one. The main issue for the character appears to be that she can’t do what she wants to do, which is climb trees and travel, whilst she’s pregnant. At no point does someone have a word and let her know that there’s nothing stopping her do these things after the birth, as she appears adamant it’s all over.
Then there’s an odd subplot involving someone with a pregnancy fetish that is embarrassingly crowbarred in, making no sense whatsoever.
Ultimately it’s a film that struggles to develop a coherent narrative of any kind, which is odd considering the relatively simple premise. What holds the film together, for the most part, is Matafeo’s performance; the now regular of the UK comedy panel show circuit reveals a talent for this acting lark, making her the one bright light this film offers. She’s also hampered by an on screen partnership that doesn’t really work, with little in the way of sparks from the working relationship between herself and her co-star Lewis.
So with a global baby boom definitely on the cards, you can imagine this film also inadvertently playing its part, with couples so bored with its flimsy storyline, driving them to switch it off and find alternative means of entertainment. And yes, by that we do mean go and have sex instead.