September 2, 2019

VIFF 2019 | 'Babysplitters' Shares A Comedy

VIFF 2019Sam Friedlander's endearing indie comedy Babysplitters offers a rather deceptively simple premise. Couples are waiting longer to start a family for various reasons including but not limited to time and money. What if the commitment of having a baby and parenting could be split evenly between two couples?

Danny Pudi and Emily C. Chang star as the main couple, Jeff and Sarah, who aren't quite ready to pull the trigger on trying to get pregnant but have a limited window. Their close friends, Taylor and Eddie (Maiara Walsh and Eddie Alfano), are in a similar boat, so they decide to all haphazardly have and share a baby together. It's a novel yet obviously very flawed idea exacerbated by circumstances like low fertility, age, career opportunities, and so on.

The quietly diverse cast of interracial couples and different familiar faces from various sitcoms and television appearances make the situations and comedy go along well enough as they further buy into the increasingly outrageous story. What prevents Babysplitters from going further is the tough balance between conventional situational comedy in scenes with standard jokes and showing the more dramatic stresses of trying to conceive a baby while also sharing that experience with another couple.

Babysplitters makes the most of its topically audacious comic premise by trying to mine some easy humour and fun from very real-world situations heavily ratcheted up. Friendlander's writing and direction tries hard to keep his characters real yet still broadly silly when needed as he heightens the melodrama before really upping the ridiculousness of the situation of baby sharing.

Babysplitters makes its Canadian premiere at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival as part of the Panorama and Contemporary World Cinema streams.

More | YVArcade / Variety

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