It takes a bit for writer-director Nicole Beckwith to clue audiences in on the importance of the job interview that opens the picture. It’s also an audition of sorts, with Anna (Patti Harrison) trying out for the role of surrogate mother to successful app designer Matt’s (Ed Helms) single/surrogate dad wannabe. (He wants a child to help fill the loneliness in his life.) From the get-go there’s a sense of coddling control emanating from Matt’s corner. He enrolls in couple’s therapy, dotes on her diet, and what kind of shoes she should wear while working as a barista. He even goes so far as to accompany her to get an ultrasound. (His Victor Frankenstein-like cry of “It’s alive!” when he sees the baby’s heartbeat brings a smile to my face days later.) He puts more thought into what color to paint the nursery than most parents would in selecting a name for their baby. You’ve heard the term “helicopter parent?” Matt’s needy, highly emotional helicopter sperm donor is enough to cause any expectant mother to miscarry. Could romance be brewing? Note to Beckwith: the only thing worse than your constant stream of TV-safe closeups is a wishy-washy inability to take a stance against Woody Allen, a clear inspiration. Either verbally bash the guy or honor him by using the Windsor font for the credits, not both. Just my luck! The first film I see in a theatre after a 14 month absence is basically a made-for-TV movie. (2021) — Scott Marks
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