director: curtis vowell (fantail)
starring: rose matafeo, matthew lewis, emily barclay and rachel house
REVIEWER: nick tonkin
Wannabe-adventurer Zoe freaks out when she falls pregnant to her long-term boyfriend Tim. As Tim embraces the prospect of fatherhood, Zoe attempts to rush through her dreams.
Baby Done, created by the husband and wife team Curtis Vowell and Sophie Henderson, stars Rose Matafeo and Harry Potter Franchise alumnus Matthew Lewis as Zoe and Tim, a couple grappling with the unexpected news that they are expecting.
For all that 2020 has done to the cinema industry internationally, all the damage and delays and uncertainty, New Zealand’s own industry has released some actual classics, such as The Legend of Baron To’a and later on with the visceral Savage, to name a couple. Now, in Baby Done, we certainly have another to add to those ranks. It’s really fantastic to see such talent on display here, Sophie Henderson has written an affecting and relatable story, with colourful and endearing characters brought to life by both the two excellent leads, Rose and Matthew, and the roster of familiar faces from New Zealand cinema that make up the supporting cast.
Baby Done follows the plight of Zoe and Tim, a young couple lamenting the losses of ever increasing numbers of friends into adulthood and parenthood, where different life stages separate them and their shared experiences surely count for less.
They can’t bear to be so boring, and Zoe can’t countenance the notion of being a mum as being one means losing your freedom to be exciting and unexpected. Life, however, has other ideas and the couple find themselves having to re-examine theirs as news of their pregnancy comes to rock their boat.
Determined to not let this setback stop her from living the life she wants and from doing all the things she wants to do, the increasingly pregnant Zoe sets out to do it all - much to the consternation of her parents and even Tim himself.
Baby Done is at times unreasonably funny, while also being unapologetically affecting with its consideration of the existential shift that parenthood can seem to pose. This combo is what makes it such a compelling and substantive movie, and very worthy of your time.