REVIEW: Nasty Baby

25 07 2015

QFest Houston

Sebastian Silva’s “Nasty Baby” departs from a fairly simple premise: a gay couple Freddy and Mo (Silva himself and Tunde Adebimpe) tries to conceive a child with their best friend Polly (Kristen Wiig) but faces difficulty with the sperm.  This well-trod territory might feel rather boring or rote were it not for Silva’s knack in capturing the banter between the tight-knit group.  The wit flows effortlessly and ceaselessly, establishing an amusing crew as entirely believable.

Alongside the trio’s baby-making struggles, which arise mostly from Adebimpe’s Mo as he somewhat inextricably bristles to take on the responsibility of providing the necessary fluids, runs a very different kind of story.  It starts off as a subplot with the residents of their gentrifying neighborhood finding themselves annoyed by a lingering loony from the old days, The Bishop (Reg E. Cathey, best known as Freddy from Netflix’s “House Of Cards”).  Bishop’s prevalence in the film grows and grows as the movie continues on its merry way, threatening to subsume the narrative altogether.

Nasty Baby

And then he does.

Oddly enough, Silva pulls off a fairly complete reversal within “Nasty Baby,” making us think the film is about one thing and then pulling out the rug from under us.  The conception storyline provides an enjoyable diversion while he sets up a vicious dramatic ending that knows how to draw blood.  Impressively, Silva finds a way to make the shift into an entirely different genre feel natural and earned, as if one should just flow naturally from the other.  If nothing else, “Nasty Baby” provides one hell of a full night out at the movies.  B+ / 3stars

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