- Emma Simmonds
- 18 January 2021
Kiwi comedy about a pregnancy freak-out delivers plenty of chuckles
If there's one thing New Zealanders have become known for in recent years (apart from their ability to select a competent prime minister), it's comedy. From the globally acclaimed work of Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, to more modest film hits like Housebound and The Breaker Upperers, this small nation punches well above its weight when it comes to making us chuckle. From director Curtis Vowell and writer Sophie Henderson, Baby Done continues cheeringly in this trend, giving us an irreverent take on pregnancy angst.
Rose Matafeo is a riot as Zoe, an adventurous and stubborn-minded soul whose freak-out powers the story. This proud arborist won't let anything get in the way of her attachment to trees, including an unexpected pregnancy (discovered when she's quite a way along), which threatens to scupper her ambitions in a world tree climbing competition. Her partner Tim (Britain's Matthew Lewis, still best known for his role as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter series) is thrilled and more pragmatic, as he tries to nudge Zoe into some much-needed preparation.
It has taken a long time for pregnancy and birth to be frankly and relatably depicted on screen but it's finally happening (think Tully or TV's The Letdown) and Baby Done manages to be as authentic as it is silly, looking at the challenges of what can be a very constraining physical condition. It acknowledges, too, how difficult it can be accepting the total shift in priorities, as well as others' increasing ownership and interest in your body.
There's the obligatory cameo from the great Rachel House (playing a principal who calls Zoe beautifully on her bullshit), while Matafeo and Emily Barclay – as Zoe's partner in crime Molly – have great fun as friends who have railed against motherhood and are now being torn apart by it. Throw in some wonderfully deadpan medical professionals (including Madeleine Sami's midwife) and brilliantly creepy interactions with a 'preggophile' (played by Nic Sampson) and you're in for a treat. Just the right amount of bonkers, you won't regret watching Baby Done.
Available to watch on demand from Fri 22 Jan.