Film Review: Babysplitters
By Jaq Tesch
"Babysplitters" is a film based in modern time that focuses on love, family, jealousy, and happiness with elements of comedy.
The film starts off with a sex scene between Jeff Penaras (Danny Pudi) and his wife, Sarah (Emily Chang), in which they pause to argue about whether they are ready to have a baby. Jeff and Sarah later meet with friends Don Small (Eddie Alfano) and his wife, Taylor (Maiara Walsh), where they discuss their readiness to have children and the reasons they are not quite ready yet, jokingly mentioning a plan that they should split a baby with all of the pros and none of the cons. The two couples leave to carry on with their everyday lives.
Jeff is unhappy with his job and working in an office, continually going back to the thought about splitting a baby when he finds out the Small couple has been thinking about it too.
They discuss options and through a lot of hilarious moments, the couple is expecting. They all start shopping and preparing a nursery, splitting the costs between them, happily. Jeff even gets the offer to work in the position he had always wanted, making him extremely happy, but the workday is now longer and the wages are not as high. That’s when things all start to spiral out of control. The pregnancy takes an unexpected turn for the four of them, ending with higher costs.
These higher costs and with Jeff’s pay decrease, him and Sarah can no longer afford their house and move in with the Smalls for the time being. This leads to resentment for each individual and the Penaras’ dog, who has a barking problem. Another hiccup in the joint pregnancy occurs and they rush to make sure that everything is okay, and results in a bittersweet moment. Quickly, the pregnancy comes to an end and we “see” the birth of the child and, in a way, all four parents.
The film shows the usual ups and downs when planning for a child, yet it does so with unexpected and realistic twists that muck up plans. By using Jeff's neurosis and overall comedic tropes, the film is enjoyable the watch even if the ending is predictable.
"Babysplitters" made its worldwide premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 2nd. It went on to win the festival's Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema.
The film will be shown again on Sunday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. inside the Riviera Theatre.