Baby Done

***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Baby Done
"This sunny-side up romantic comedy from New Zealand is well worth a watch if the gloom of mid- winter is starting to bite." | Photo: Vertigo Releasing

This sunny-side up romantic comedy from New Zealand is well worth a watch if the gloom of mid- winter is starting to bite, offering a similar Brit/Antipodean relationship blend and warm-hearted humour to last year's Top End Wedding. It may be formulaic to a degree - and what romcom isn't? - but it's also a reminder that you can get a lot of mileage out of likeable but realistic characters grappling with issues of the heart and unexpected responsibility.

Zoe (New Zealand comic Rose Matefeo) is the sort of person who sneaks an early peek at the 'baby reveal' at her friends' baby showers and leads an active life courtesy of her tree surgeon job, where she works alongside her partner Tim (Mathew Lewis, who people might remember from when he was little more than a baby himself as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films). When she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she can't even bring herself to tell Tim, panicking about the ways that her life is going to change with the new arrival.

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Even once Tim finds out, she's determined they tick off a list of adventures before the baby arrives, which puts an increasing strain on the relationship. What's nice - and "nice" is a word you'll find yourself returning to a lot as you watch this film - about all this, is that they're both sweet people and the film never suggests that they don't want to have a baby, just that they're struggling to come to terms this this baby right now. The fact that the director Curtis Vowell and screenwriter Sophie Henderson are a real-life couple, who drew on their own experiences, can't have hurt either when it comes to the ring of truth.

Matefeo is perfectly cast as Zoe, offering the sort of bouncy, outgoing personality that can easily carry the film and while Lewis may be playing the 'straight guy' here, he more than holds his on as they riff off one another. If the pace slackens a bit in the mid-section, the supporting cast, including Rachel House (Hunt For The Wilderpeople) as a savvy school headmistress, Emily Barclay as Zoe's globetrotting buddy Molly and Madeleine Sami as a no-nonsense midwife, add spring to every scene they're in.

Reviewed on: 21 Jan 2021
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A woman who finds out she's pregnant becomes determined to tick off a bucket list before she has the baby... much to the concern of her other half.

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