FILM REVIEW | Baby Mamas tells of motherhood joy, pain

The all-female ensemble cast of 'Baby Mamas' is made up of Salamina Mosese, Thembisa Mdoda, Kay Smith and Dineo Ranaka.
The all-female ensemble cast of 'Baby Mamas' is made up of Salamina Mosese, Thembisa Mdoda, Kay Smith and Dineo Ranaka.

Former child stars Stephina Zwane and Salamina Mosese have made a solid debut on the big screen with glossy romantic drama Baby Mamas.

The film, released via the pair's production company Sorele Media, explores the many dynamics of being a baby mama.

With an ensemble female cast of Mosese, Thembisa Mdoda, Dineo Ranaka and Kay Smith, with Zwane helming the picture as a first-time feature director, it makes a strong case for sisterhood.

The first half belongs to relatively unknown Smith, who plays the sweet and naive Chantel. She steals every frame as she prepares to be a first-time mom with her squad taking her through the different phases of being a baby mama.

The dialogue between her and her half-witted baby daddy Keenan (Donovan Pietersen) are hilarious and heart-warming.

While many actors would have undoubtedly opted to overdramatise the character, especially given the written material, the genius of Smith's portrayal is that she internalises everything.

Her moving performance heavily relies on her saucer eyes as you see how terrified, yet excited, she is about being a first-time mom. She doesn't tell you, she shows you.

The second half of the film belongs to Ranaka's unhinged character Joy.

Ranaka in one pivotal scene loses all her marbles; using every ounce in her to show you how baby mama drama can drive you up against the wall.

While the moment is more OTT than an episode of your favourite soap opera, it's warranted. Simply put, no one plays cuckoo better than Ranaka

Mdoda as Sandy brings a more vulnerable and honest performance as a jilted baby mama so hung up on her ex that she thinks they still have a future together even though he has clearly moved on.

So, what does she do to numb her sadness and pain? She makes his life a living hell. You will love Mdoda in the one scene and hate her in the next.

The most boring of the ladies is Mosese as the girl-next-door and squeaky clean Toli. Even more annoying as Mosese sees the most screen-time. Her baby daddy issues at home with her ex Tumi (Sthembiso SK Khoza) are perfect.

They are doing what Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow and singer Chris Martin coined "conscious uncoupling". The build-up for her budding romance with hunky IT technician Michael (Jonathan Boynton-Lee) have initial flying sparks, but the finishing is lukewarm.

It's mainly because the chemistry between the pairing is just lacklustre.

At its worst, the screenplay comes off as cheesy with certain plot inconstancies, combined with the wobbly editing, being the film's biggest flaws.

The endearing music selection, with some original songs by cast member Nicholas "Nicksoul" Nkuna, gets two thumbs up.

The film's biggest lesson, when it comes to baby mama -or baby daddy - drama is the glass has to always be half full.

Rating: 6/10

Baby Mamas is currently showing in cinemas nationwide. 

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