VOD REVIEW: Shiva Baby a darkly comic, gloriously-acted affair

This hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy takes young feminist Danielle, and drops her into the Shiva for a family friend she doesn’t even really know.

Danielle has just come from a meeting with her sugar daddy, a man helping her pay her bills for sexual favours. But when she looks up from a conversation and sees that very man jawing and smiling with her father, she knows she’s in trouble.

This is a comedic tale about our lies – and how with the wrong situation – they may threaten to be our undoing. The young, Jewish woman’s parents – well-meaning but intruding – try to get Max to get their daughter an internship at a publishing company.

They have no idea, however, just how much he’s been helping their daughter financially the entire time. While Danielle lied about her major to Max – she’s doing gender studies, and not becoming a lawyer – and her family largely supports her lifestyle, she feels he didn’t need to know those things.

Meanwhile, Max has a wife and newborn – things he didn’t want Danielle to know either. And to make things more difficult, Danielle’s old flame Maya is on-hand sniffing around, sensing blood in the water.

Rachel Sennott is absolutely sublime as Danielle, and Molly Gordon is snarky as Maya. Danielle’s parents are played by greats Polly Draper and Fred Melamad.

I’d say, honestly, Danny Deferrari is the weakest of the cast as sugar daddy Max, even eclipsed by Dianna Agron as his doting wife, who does a hell of a lot with a small role.

It’s a bitingly funny, bittersweet little film, and I loved every cringeworthy minute.

4/5 Stars

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