Directed by: Jonathan Lisecki
Starring: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas
Running time: 89 minutes, Unrated
Special features: Commentary, Gaby Short, Deleted Dream Musical Sequence, More Deleted Scenes
Jenn is a single woman in her thirties whom is desperate to have a baby. She asks her best friend Matt (who is gay) to be the father of her child. She doesn’t want to do fertility treatments, she wants to make a baby the “old fashioned way.” Matt semi-reluctantly agrees. While the process is an arduous one, they both question their friendship, their separate searches for love and their anxieties about raising a child together.
This tale has been told a few times already by bigger stars. Most people would compare so many similar plot points to the box office bomb The Next Best Thing, but that movie was just embarrassing and forgettable. Gayby has some great characters and my favorites have got to be Director Jonathan Lisecki as the aspiring “bear” Nelson and Jenn’s work friend Jamie (Jack Ferver); their banter alone merits a sequel/spin-off. Sarita Choudhury shows off her comedy chops as the eccentric eastern/western medicine doctor. Because the leads are old friends in real life, their interaction with each other is so natural, so the story is more believable. Every character is endearing in their own way, even the seemingly evil ones. You can tell great care went into creating each one once they appear on screen.
I also love that Matt has a cool job in a comic book store; usually gay men in films are given some corporate job or cliche Queer Eye-esque designer or planner job. If my regular comic store guy was like him and not the elitist snobby d-bag, I’d consider venturing out in public more.
The deleted scenes are funny, but I’m glad they didn’t include them. The original short film was a little better with capturing the awkwardness of a gay man & a “hag” attempting to conceive “the old fashioned way.”
Regardless the story is familiar, it’s a fresh and funny retelling. I think Jonathan Lisecki is one of my new favorite writer/actor/directors, and I look forward to seeing more from him.
Reviewed by: JM Willis
Total Rating: A