Mid Road Drop, the main group of friends attends their friend’s wedding dress rehearsal, which features talent shows from each guest. One guest’s act goes on too long and the others mumble and change their boredom. Sadly, that’s how I felt while screening this film which (surprisingly) has a short running time of 92 minutes.
Created by Sarah Adina Smith, who is a writer, director, producer and editor, Drop is a dark comedy that challenges conventional knowledge about motherhood and maternal instincts. PEN15‘s Anna Konkle features an impressive cast including Jermaine Fowler, Utkarsh Ambudkar (last seen in The stall), and Aparna Nancherla, but even that group of stars couldn’t save a film filled with boring cliches and a plot that runs out of steam too quickly.
Married couple Lex and Mani (Konkle and Fowler) are trying for a baby. They settled in Los Angeles with Lex owning his own bakery ironically named Carbs. The young couple travel to Mexico to attend Lex’s college friend’s destination wedding, and they reunite with the group of friends while flying first class.
The set consists of Hollywood couple Robbie (Ambudkar) and Shauna (Robin Thede), their soon-to-be-married teenage son Levi (Elisha Henig), gynecologist Peggy (Jennifer Lafleur) and Mia (Nancherla), their nine-baby d month, Ani, and Mexico-based resort owners Josh and Lindsey, who are sadly married and collapsing under the weight of their business. Together they create an unbearable group without redeeming qualities.
Here’s the negative: the movie got off to a good start and the characters’ schticks were laughable, until the big drop. Going into the screening, which had its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival as an Official Selection in the Narrative Feature Competition, all that was revealed about the film is that it follows a woman dropping a baby — and it happens, however, that’s all that happens, which is saying a lot considering the big drop occurs in the first track.
After the happy group (who already seem tired of each other) land in Mexico, they gather outside to load their luggage into the hosts’ car. Mani asks to hold Ani and does so carefully before handing her over to a willing Lex. Distracted by a loudly buzzing bee, the baker drops the baby onto the cold, hard sidewalk. The jarring moment is contrasted with quick humor and a big “what happened?” and while the concerned friends wait in the hospital for an update, Josh walks around offering everyone festive coconuts for hydration (which his wife deems extremely inappropriate). The rest of the film follows the set inside its own head, Lex’s newfound status as a social outcast, and Mani’s struggles to come to terms with his wife not being fit to be a mother.
From there, laughs are rare, not just from this reviewer, but from the entire audience who grew quieter as the film played. The jokes are cheap and outdated – they give talented comedian Nancherla a backstory that consists solely of her transition from democrat to right-wing libertarian after the birth of her daughter because she’s so worried about her baby that she has to loudly announce that she is armed with a gun, which clearly makes everyone uncomfortable.
Robbie and Shauna are too busy with their budding careers in Hollywood that they’ve let their perverted, too-online son talk nonsense to a group of teetotal, perverted meninists about their grown-up friends, and Josh and Lindsey try to recruit their friends. as investors in their business. amid the destruction of their marriage detailed by their tendency to shame their friends. The most sane of the group is Mani, who tries to support his wife, deal with his mean friends, and go through the only thing resembling a journey of growth in the entire movie.
All that said, the movie has jokes, but not strong ones; it offers an interesting and engaging story, it reaches its climax within the first 30 minutes; it has a cast of all-star comedy actors, they just aren’t used in a way that amplifies their likelihood. The film lacks the charm and laugh-out-loud qualities of similar destination group comedies like Forget Sarah Marshallworn by the adorable Jason Segel, and The hangoverbut it offers a quirky idea that isn’t as predictable as its characters and introduces a new conversation about what it takes to be a mother, and the chilling vulnerability that comes when people expect women to fall naturally in the role.
Drop had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 11 and will screen June 12 and 17. Tickets can be purchased here.
Next: Tribeca Film Festival 2022: Acidman Review