Writer and star Sonja Bennett skewers modern pregnancy culture in the cynical but stealthily heartwarming satire "Preggoland."
A past-her-prime delinquent, Ruth (Bennett), suffers from a bad case of woman-child syndrome, nursing a college-style affinity for drinking while still living at home with her dad (James Caan) and working as a cashier at the local supermarket. All of her friends have become sanctimonious mommies, and her kind of partying just doesn't mesh with toddlers and onesies.
With Ruth's drunken upchuck at a baby store comes the assumption that she's pregnant, and when Ruth discovers just how much better she's treated by loved ones and strangers alike, she decides to keep up the ruse for as long as she can.
The film, directed by Jacob Tierney, is shot with a desaturated, tobacco-tinged filter that lets us see the world through Ruth's smoke-colored glasses and adds to the hazy unreality of the situation. The humor is hit and miss, and Danny Trejo, while shining in something different from his usual villain mode, is overused as silly comic relief.
But for all the implausible, coincidental and slapstick moments, there's a caustic veracity and trenchant social commentary in "Preggoland" that rings particularly true, especially regarding the value placed on mothers over childless women, as well as the invasive proprietorship people feel about pregnant women's bodies. This treatise on what to expect when you're not expecting offers up biting cultural satire with a hearty dose of humanity and humor to boot.
No MPAA rating.
Running time: 1 hour 49 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.