Review by Camden Ferrell
Pregnancy is not an uncommon topic for a film, so when a movie comes along that finds a new way to present the story, it’s notable. Director Curtis Vowell’s newest film, Baby Done, is such a film. It hits most of the same narrative beats as similar movies, but it benefits greatly from its acting and fresh perspective.
Zoe and Tim are a happily unconventional couple who work as arborists for a living. However, Zoe learns that she is pregnant, an event that sets her on a journey to hastily live her life before becoming a mother. While Zoe is rushing to achieve her goals and put off preparing for motherhood, Tim quickly embraces the prospect of fatherhood. What really stands out about this premise is Zoe’s apprehension to pregnancy as a means to comment on how this milestone affects different women.
Sophie Henderson’s first feature-length script is delightful and charming. It’s funny and quirky without trying too hard. It doesn’t overwork itself for brief one-liners, but it revels in the chemistry of its characters and their comical interactions. It is definitely formulaic, but it embraces this aspect in order to create a palatable and unobjectionable screenplay that is crowd-pleasing.
One of the most entertaining parts of this film is its energetic performances. Rose Matafeo leads the film as Zoe, and she puts her talent on full display. It’s obvious that she has real star potential after seeing her performance in this film. She embraces the character effortlessly and convincingly takes on this role and carries the audience through this character’s journey of pregnancy. Matthew Lewis co-stars as Tim, and he has a charismatic screen presence and excellent chemistry with Matafeo.
The perspective that Henderson’s script provides is a unique one, and it helps elevate the film ahead of others in the same genre. Rather than using the trite archetypes of the overenthusiastic woman and the bumbling father, this movie takes a more realistic and underseen approach. This movie is about a woman who views being pregnant as an obstacle to self-fulfillment and adopts a cavalier attitude to the pregnancy while her partner is astutely preparing for her birth.
The film also contains some poignant themes about how motherhood affects the general perception of women in society. Zoe does not want to be reduced to her role as a mother, and she fears she will become just another mother that has no individuality of their own. This approach may not be novel, but it is interesting and rather meaningful to the film’s themes.
Even though the movie does have a new perspective on this genre, it can also feel derivative at times throughout. This can lead to the narrative feeling too safe and conventional, and it seems almost antithetical to the great approach to its story.
Baby Done may not be revolutionary, but it is undeniably sweet and adorable. This will surely be pleasing for all audiences, and its brief runtime make this a movie that’s worth checking out. It features some enjoyable acting and a heartwarming message.
Baby Done is available on VOD January 22.