Film Review: Baby Done

baby done indexI’m possibly the worst person to be reviewing a comedy like this where a lead character gets pregnant, it’d be like asking a Christian to review a pro-Satanism movie, or having someone with an IQ over 10 say something genuinely nice about Boris Johnson, as I think bringing a baby in to this horrendous world is the most selfish and plain horrible thing you could do. But even if you love babies and have well over twenty seven of them I doubt there’s much here that you’d find amusing as it’s a painfully bland and lacklustre affair.

I was hoping that despite my disdain for tiny human beings I might like it as I’m a huge fan of Rose Matafeo, and her show Horndog was one of the highlights of last year, plus there are also very minor roles for Taskmaster New Zealand stars Angella Dravid, Brynley Stent and Madeleine Sami, so on paper it should have been something I might have really liked. Unfortunately it suffers from an almost astonishingly boring plot, in that Zoe (Rose Matafeo) and Tim (Matthew Lewis) are a young couple who love their lives, which mainly revolves around climbing trees, and no, I’m genuinely not being snarky as Zoe and Tim are tree surgeons by day and in their spare time Zoe wants to enter the world Tree Climbing Competition.

They’re also slowly getting fed up with their friends having children and becoming tedious idiots, with Zoe commenting at a baby shower “We’ve just lost another two of our friends”, so inevitably Zoe finds out she’s pregnant about ten seconds later, and though she tries to deny it claiming “Tape worms can cause false pregnancy tests” it soon becomes impossible to ignore. Not that she tells Tim, even when they are about to go bungee jumping, but when he does find out he’s overjoyed. The two claim they still want to live life to the full though, and so come up with a list of things they’d like to try before the baby arrives, which for Tim is ecstasy in a controlled environment and having a threesome with their friend Molly (Emily Barclay), and for Zoe it’s still competing in that tree climbing competition. Unfortunately she soon discovers that she’s actually twenty seven weeks pregnant and just hadn’t noticed before, and Zoe can’t do half of the things she wanted to.

One of the film’s biggest problems is that both leads are hard to like, Zoe’s not too bad but clearly has anger issues as she’s banned from the antenatal class for pushing a pregnant woman, and shoves Tim in another scene much to the horror of another character, and this is never addressed, while Tim is such a wet, unlikeable character you’ll wonder what Zoe sees in him. In the first five minutes we see them lark around at a party but that’s pretty much the last time where he’s not whining or telling Zoe what she can’t do, and I genuinely believe that if he’d died Zoe’s child would have turned out to be a much better human being without him in their lives.

The script is what really lets it down though, there’s a lot of scenes which fall flat or don’t have any dialogue in it that’s amusing in any way, sure, it’s not like it’s completely joke free, a running gag about Zoe not being an accident is amusing, Zoe pretending to be the mother of a work colleague at a school meeting is fairly funny, while the threesome that Zoe, Tim and Molly almost have has a couple of moments where it’ll make you smile, and Madeleine Sami is great in her role as a plain talking midwife.

That’s pretty much every funny moment in the movie though, and the rest is fairly cringeworthy, a flat, dull affair with monotonous conversations and bits of cringe humour which will only cause you to sigh as they’re so lazy or misfire so badly. There’s very little humour to be found in Zoe’s denial that she can no longer do certain things while pregnant, and Tim being a dick is actively irritating, while plot-wise it goes from a to b in a beyond predictable fashion. There’s a vaguely odd bit where Zoe flirts with a man with a fetish for pregnant women, but which is creepy rather than funny, and bar that it’s tiresome, irritating and wastes a very talented cast.

★1/2

Alex Finch.
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