TIFF 2014 Review: Preggoland
It’s not quite the excoriating destruction of psycho-moms and the miracle of pregnancy that the opening scene indicates, as the smart and savvy Peggoland revels in heartfelt absurdity and charming awkwardness.
Canadian Sonja Bennett stars in this comedy she also wrote, playing Ruth, the thirtysomething who unlike her circle of friends, hasn’t embraced having children. Instead she parties, lives at home, works as a supermarket cashier, and gives inappropriate gifts.
In a series of coincidences, Ruth finds herself with a high-end stroller whilst walking through a park and confronted by a woman who mistook hangover vomit for morning sickness. In front of her friends, Ruth admits to being pregnant – and the comic hijinks ensue!
But it’s not all some farce. Preggoland is about the institution of motherhood. It’s a spirited riff on a rather standard comedy premise, mixing in impish antics and social commentary with some whimsy and adult content. Preggoland has a few hilarious moments and in ways is a comedy in the same vein of Bridesmaids.
Aided by a coworker (Danny Trejo), she lies to everyone, including her kinda cute new boss, her proud father (James Caan), and her sister, who wanted to be the first one pregnant. Suddenly Ruth goes from outcast to the centre of attention, for everyone embraces the preggo.
Bennett does well in writing to still subtly critique while gently crafting a genuine story between Ruth and her boss. It all leads up to that moment of truth – somewhere around the fake eight or nine month mark – and the climactic moment does not disappoint while taking things in a strange direction, with laughter and gasps.