Days Of Daisy


Reviewed by: Jane Fae

Days Of Daisy
"Alongside the gentle humour there is a quirky subversiveness to this film that belies its outward ordinary appearance." | Photo: Courtesy of Dances With Films

What’s a woman to do as 40 beckons and she is still sans child, sans true life partner, and stuck in a dead-end job as a school librarian?

In the case of Daisy (Jency Griffin Hogan), the rest of her life begins with a wake-up call from her gynaecologist who reminds her politely, brutally, that she is not getting any younger and if she ever wants children, now is the time.

So, it’s out with the cowboy, with whom she shares a horse (her passion!) and indulges in awkward unfulfilling sex. And it is into the bad books of her mother, Camille (Cathie Choppin) who hears a wake-up call of a very different kind, and sets about arranging a series of also awkward, embarrassing dates in the hope of getting her daughter with man and child.

Meanwhile, there is crisis at school, as the art teacher (Sybil Rosen) has had enough and walks. She leaves behind her a classroom of hopeful, talented young artists whose dream of putting on a show for the local community has been summarily dashed.

Who can they turn to?

How about Daisy, whose father, Frank (Bill Martin Williams) also happens to be principal of the school? What follows is gentle, heart-warming romcom as Daisy takes over and, with a little help from professional – and fit! – photo-artist Jack Palmer (Bryan Langlitz), she reignites a passion for teaching and finds the love of her life.

There are few surprises here. What you expect to happen will happen, as Daisy chases down the corridors of several well-worn movie tropes. First, the show, which we all know will go on, but must first overcome various crises and obstacles beforehand.

Then there is the Super Coach trope: this is the outside expert who comes in to a school setting (usually) and saves the day by turning a bunch of no-hopers into somebodies. There is a little of that here. However, the interesting angle taken by Days Of Daisy is that much of the growth, both personal and professional, is happening inside Daisy, who is transformed from aimless almost-40-something to woman with a purpose and a passion.

“It’s gonna work out” is the philosophy with which she starts the film. By the end, however, she has undergone a transformation, becoming a woman who has goals and who understands that she needs to go out and make them happen.

Last of all, there is the relationship. Because, of course, Daisy is going to fall for Jack. Also, naturally, there are going to be pitfalls along the way. In this instance the very significant pitfalls, or perhaps potholes along the road to true love lie largely within Daisy, who has convinced herself that having a child is her only path to happiness. Oh dear.

There are setbacks and arguments and as with all good romcoms, we will not be sure, til the very last scene, whether Daisy and Jack get it together in the end. No. No spoilers, just don’t assume they do.

For alongside the gentle humour there is a quirky subversiveness to this film that belies its outward ordinary appearance. That begins with the fact of its tackling an issue – the female mid-life crisis – that does not often get an airing. It is compounded by Camille doing her very own ‘Granzilla’ impression, turning positively demonic in her ever-growing demands that Daisy settles down and has children. Then it’s double down again through a series of embarrassing dates/one-night stands engineered for Daisy by Camille in pursuit of the pregnancy thing.

Let’s add that it was a brave move, too, to cast an actor who is not a conventional beauty in the role of Daisy. Or perhaps this reflected the fact that Jency Hogan, who played that role is also executive producer on the project. Whatever the reason, it works well, communicating a message that is often overlooked in our frenetic day: that true beauty is to be found inside; and in the end, happiness lies in the small things.

Not a spectacular film. Still, a film that left me feeling uplifted.

What more can you ask for?

Reviewed on: 15 Jun 2022
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As her 40th birthday draws near, Daisy feels societal pressure to settle down and start a family. In a spiral for meaning, she teams up with local photographer Jack Palmer to give West High School students the art programme that they deserve.

Director: Alexander Jeffery

Writer: Paul Peterse, Alexander Jeffery

Starring: Jency Griffin Hogan, Bryan Langlitz, Maddie Nichols, Tobias Nichols, Wanetah Walmsley, Rex Austin Barrow, Sybil Rosen

Year: 2022

Runtime: 98 minutes

Country: US


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