It’s all pretty “trippy,” to stick with these characters’ millennial idiom. In Baby Crazy by director duo Jan Hulst and Kasper Tarenskeen, twenty-something Maria becomes pregnant after a one-night stand with a celebrity. She decides to raise her “little freak” with her friend Athos. Meanwhile, she meets Boaz, an opportunistic rascal pessimist who runs a vegan restaurant serving local wines.
Tarenskeen wrote a smooth, not too layered comedy with obnoxious characters that you will love anyway. In a series of showdowns – set in a striking gym decor by Studio Dennis Vanderbroeck – they do everything they can to mask their fears, making them all the more noticeable. Crazy asides towards the audience emphasize their constant hyper-awareness.
Denzel Goudmijn plays the dorky artist who lets himself be pampered by his manager (Emma Pelckmans). Athos is insecure about his body, makes up for it with ruff behavior and then feels ashamed of himself. Thomas Höppener plays him averse to vanity and wonderfully transparent. Gradually, Boaz (Tim Linde) sees all his dreams collapse: it doesn’t make him a more beautiful person.
Stumbling through the nine months, these people struggle. It is nice that they do not judge themselves and each other too hard on their inability. Due to the witty dialogues and tight editing, the joke density is consistently high. The performance therefore also remains at a distance: there is little time to sympathize.
Meanwhile, Maria (Nadia Babke) develops from a stammering twenty-something into someone who knows exactly what she wants. She realizes that she is trapped in a construct of guilt, and in the realization of the “sick responsibility” that awaits her, she wrestles herself from it. It is wonderful that the one whose life is most turned upside down is the most able to survive in the rubble and find direction again.