New Zealand stand-up Rose Matafeo stars in Curtis Vowell’s affable comedy Baby Done, the title drawn from the trifecta often believed to define adult life: mortgage, marriage then “baby — done”. Of course, only one of the three can happen by accident, and so it proves for Matafeo’s Zoe, an Auckland tree surgeon of adventurous bent, left as is custom to stare aghast at her pregnancy test.
The comedy is matter-of-fact, the story wilfully slight. Once Zoe breaks the news to milktoast boyfriend Tim (Matthew Lewis), old-school gender roles turn on their heads. She acts out in borderline denial, he books antenatal classes. But really, the plot is a shrug, a loose string of good-natured skits to showcase Matafeo’s likeability.
Still, the movie can’t resist jabbing at the Stepford conformity of pregnant couples. That title, it turns out, should begin with the definite article. Endlessly stuck in twee conversations about doing the right thing for baby, baby’s due date, and what might or might not be good for baby, Matafeo scowls. The baby, she adds every time, puncturing the mood like a woman sticking pins in balloons at a gender reveal party. The popping is a joy.
On digital platforms in the UK from January 22