Clearly Norway is the new capital of movies about emotionally messy women in their twenties with mixed feelings about commitment and motherhood.
First it was The Worst Person in the World and this Saturday it’s Ninjababy.
Ninjababy is about Rakel, a 23-year-old slacker who lives with her roommate Ingrid and has a relatively carefree, party-filled life. She has a talent for graphic art but no idea what she wants to be in this life. Her aspirations consist of becoming a comic artist, but also an astronaut, a forest ranger and a beer-taster, but definitely being a mother is not on the list.
When she discovers she’s pregnant, she assumes the father is her recent one-night stand, Mos, an endearingly dorky aikido teacher, who accompanies her to the abortion clinic. It’s here she’s informed that she’s actually more than six months along, beyond the limit for termination. So Mos is out as the baby-daddy, replaced by another casual hook-up from the right time period, a hard-partier she calls Dick Jesus. Neither man is any more suitable or ready to become a parent than she is.
Rakel is not happy about her pregnancy, but, at the same time, the prospect of giving her child up terrifies her. She doodles a cartoon of her fetus, nicknames it Ninjababy because of its stealthy arrival, and begins having conversations with it. These “chats” allow her to address her worst fears and reveal her thoughts and feelings about her dilemma. The talking manifestation of her unborn child makes wise cracks, defends himself, challenges her choices and provides most of the film’s comedy but be warned, it’s sometimes raunchy.
Actress Kristine Thorp does a wonderful job of conveying the range of emotions of a frustrated reluctantly-pregnant woman. Ninjababy is a modern take on impending motherhood that doesn’t shy away from subjects like casual sex and allows the mother not to be consumed by sudden maternal instinct, but also ends satisfyingly with Rakel forging a way forward that is sweetly unpredictable.
Ninjababy plays at the Classic Theatre on Saturday, March 26 at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Vaccine passports still required.
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