mon 18/10/2021

Baby Done review - romcom done right | reviews, news & interviews

Baby Done review - romcom done right

Baby Done review - romcom done right

Funny, sincere and completely charming Kiwi comedy about unexpected pregnancy

Rose Matafeo and Matthew Lewis star as couple Zoe and Tim

Romcoms. We all know the tried and tested formula: immature guy, uptight girl, they meet, they like each other, hate each other, and end up in love. It’s as reliable as it is unrealistic, and sometimes it takes a film like Baby Done to remind you there is a better way.

One that is funnier, more believable, and yes, even more romantic.

Stand-up comic Rose Matafeo and Harry Potter alum Matthew Lewis star as Zoe and Tim, the last couple standing in the marriage and baby stakes. Everyone else is boring and settling down, but these two (and Zoe’s new-age friend Molly) are quite happy as things are. What’s the hurry?

Well, the hurry comes in the form of Zoe’s unplanned pregnancy. Suddenly, that vague belief of “there’s so much left to do” becomes an actual bucket list before the baby’s arrival: travel the world, go dancing, take drugs, have a threesome. But it’s quite hard to party when your heavily pregnant, and Tim isn’t exactly thrilled to be picking up the slack.Rose Matafeo in Baby DoneAnyone vaguely familiar with Kiwi comedies won’t be surprised to find Taika Watiti involved (even only as executive producer). Baby Done certainly shares Watiti’s comic sensibilities, with every interaction dripping with deadpan wit. But, whisper it, this might actually be stronger than some of Watiti’s catalogue. The plotting is certainly tighter, and the comedy never undermines the emotional heart of the film.

And it is definitely as funny as Watiti’s best work. From little one liners to farcical set-pieces, the movie is consistently laugh-out-loud funny from first frame to last. The title of ‘worst threesome in cinema’ might be hotly contested, but Zoe’s attempt of facilitating while hiding her baby-bump puts Baby Done right by the top.

Like all great romantic comedies, Baby Done’s success is down to the chemistry of its leads. Matafeo and Lewis have a winning dynamic, with her trademark dry humour well balanced by his hysterical panic. Lewis’s comic chops won’t come as a big shock to anyone that’s followed his career, but the real surprise comes in Matafeo’s dramatic range. Zoe’s actions are reckless, borderline cruel, but it’s the excellent character work by Matafeo that means you never doubt the heart of the character. Like her contemporaries Aisling Bea and Katherine Ryan, Matafeo proves to be a natural on screen as well as on stage.Rose Matafeo and Matthew Lewis in Baby DoneBut what makes Baby Done really stand out is the romantic journey of the characters. Not many romcoms start with the leads already together and in love. This isn’t about finding the right one. It’s about coming to terms with the fact you’re already with the right one, and the singleton's lifestyle is no longer compatible. It doesn’t matter if you live in a one-bed apartment and feel like a student, the baby’s still coming. Something has to give.

With very few cinemas currently open, Baby Done will be released primarily through digital download. It’s a shame, because the film deserves eyes on it. Hunt it out if you can, there’s nothing better to chase away the winter blues than some proper Kiwi comedy. 

@OwenRichards91

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