Title: Shiva Baby
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Emma Seligman
Starring: Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon, Polly Draper
Runtime: 1 hr 17 mins
What It Is: On the day of a Jewish funeral service, Danielle, a university student, finds herself in a conundrum when she finds one of her sugar daddies attending as well as her ex-girlfriend. Danielle’s anxiety, already on the rise from being surrounded by overbearing friends and family, skyrockets when the sugar daddy’s wife and baby also attend the service and Danielle begins to lose control.
What We Think: A biting and hilariously intense drama about one young woman’s personal lifestyle choices result on the constant brink of her humiliation. It’s a keen observation on the need for Danielle to take control of her situation, revealing the film not only as a comedy but also a character study of femininity and how our personal comfort is compromised when our different communities collide. It’s a fun but stressful ride that can have you tearing at your face and cringing at the thought of Danielle’s very real and very relatable stakes coming into fruition. The characters are more or less likable while Sennott carries the lead with humor and plenty of sweat, a reminder of what it is to be a young adult who doesn’t have as much say nor direction in her life as she wants. Though at times the already-thin plot can be a bit repetitive towards the tail end, the film as a whole itself serves massive appeal through its charismatic, flawed protagonist and the relatable chaos that surrounds her.
Our Grade: B, Overall, a very well-composed black comedy with characters you want to follows and hear more from (while others, you could very well do without, but that’s the point). It’s insightful, good-hearted, and down-to-earth when addressing contemporary relationships, modern feminity, the toxicity of familial connections, sex work, and why someone like Danielle might make the choices the way they do.