BABY DONE is a New Zealand comedy about a couple, Zoe (Rose Matafeo) and Tim (Matthew Lewis), who are some years into a stable relationship. They are arborists who work together. They take care of trees, mostly by using equipment like cherry pickers and working high in the tree-tops. Zoe is also extremely good at climbing trees and plans on going to Canada and competing in an international tree-climbing contest.
Zoe and Tim are in their late 20s and apart from their work have very few plans. They’re cruising along and enjoying life. Zoe is somewhat annoyed with the weddings, baby showers and gender reveals that all their friends are having. She thinks these milestone events are all running into each other and her attitude is to make fun of these things. She and her boyfriend have no intention of getting married anytime soon and they haven’t even spoken about starting a family.
And then, Zoe discovers she’s pregnant. Unfortunately, her philosophy is that she has seen all her friends get married, get a house and then after having a baby, they’re “done”. It’s not that she doesn’t want to have a baby, more than that, Zoe doesn’t want to be a mum because to her, that means a loss of freedom and personality. She doesn’t want to alter in the way she has seen her friends change. Tim, on the other hand, receives the news positively and then goes into a nervous frenzy of planning. His own father left when he was a boy, so he is determined to be the best dad he can possibly be. These parents-to-be could not be on different paths emotionally.
This is the solid premise that writer Sophie Henderson and director Curtis Vowell begin with and they work through a series of set pieces about the stresses and strains that this completely unprepared couple must face in the coming months. Henderson and Vowell both have a background in acting and were responsible for the 2013 indie film FANTAIL. They are also married and have a child. Henderson’s father is also an obstetrician, so these elements are all in the background of this movie. BABY DONE is aimed at a younger audience of parents and would-be parents and uses the creatives own life as the material for the attitudes and expectations that come with this experience.
Rose Matafeo who plays Zoe, has been a stand-up for a decade and has written and acted in New Zealand and International television. In Australia, she was seen in the NZ comedy series FUNNY GIRLS and the ABC’s SQUINTERS. Matthew Lewis (who plays Tim) is best known for the role of Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movie series. Matafeo and Lewis have a convincing chemistry as the self-involved, laid-back Zoe and the easy-going Tim and this is the chief thing the film has going for it. This duo is creating problems for themselves, but we want them to succeed and get their life together.
The story gets increasingly unlikely it goes along, but in the end BABY DONE is an entertaining film with energy and laughs. Duration: 90 minutes. Rating (7/10)