Review: ‘Let’s Ruin It With Babies’ is a trip that starts, ends well

Channing (Kestrin Pantera) in a scene from "Let's Ruin It With Babies."
(Sam Friedman / Nelson Madison Films)

There’s so much that’s authentic and likable about the loopy road trip comedy “Let’s Ruin It With Babies” that it’s a shame when it loses its mojo along the way. But half a loaf is better than none, especially when a movie stars an actress as amusing and beguiling as Kestrin Pantera (think Sandra Bullock meets Pat Benatar), who also wrote, directed and co-edited this shaggy-dog tale about a 30-ish hipster chick’s hesitant coming-of-age.

Babies — whether to have them, whether to wait — propels this brief film’s slender, real-life-inspired plot involving Channing (Pantera) and Chaz (Pantera’s actual hubby, Jonathan Grubb), a devoted L.A. couple who run the trendy RVIP Lounge, a mobile karaoke bar housed inside a colorful, massive RV.

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Just before RVIP’s inaugural cross-country tour, Chaz gets a “real job” and must stay behind. It falls to the plucky if somewhat hapless Channing to run the show. As Channing hits the road with her game little support crew (played by the enjoyable Eva Kim, Sam Friedman and others), she’s haunted by Chaz’s desire to start a family — and by her own reluctance to comply.


En route amid parties, press interviews, mechanical difficulties, crazed mechanics, symbolic strangers and more, Channing zeros in on her life priorities. It’s during this episodic, regrettably Chaz-free second act when things get overly diffused, but the film ultimately rights itself in ways that are honest, convincing and just plain adorable.


“Let’s Ruin It With Babies”

MPAA rating: None


Running time: 1 hour, 19 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.