May 29, 2024

The Wonder Weeks 2023 Movie Review

Spread the love

The Wonder Weeks 2023 Movie Review

Unlike other movies, The Wonder Weeks opens with the PUSHHHHHHHH scene where the pregnant mom strains and groans and rips her husband a new one in the midst of giving birth. That’s Anne (Sallie Harmsen), and the soon-to-be proud papa is Barry (Soy Kroon). She’s in the bathtub and the doula’s nearby and their house is the kind of massive open-space dwelling that tells us she’s about to be made partner at the firm. And that’s a problem, because she has a career and Barry works too and they can’t find a daycare with an opening. Stress! And on top of that, a nurse counselor tells them flat-out that their baby daughter is “fat” and for that she should be fired and reassigned to a more suitable occupation, scraping the insides of septic tanks.

Anne visits the nearby daycare where she’s zillionth on the waitlist. She overhears that members of a group called Moms for Moms get to skip the waitlist, so she joins the club, which is slightly disconcertingly affluent and culty. Moms for Moms is run by Kim (Katja Schuurman), who has two offspring with her wife Roos (Sarah Chronis), and a third on the way, all fathered by sperm donor Kaj (Louis Talpe). Kaj is a bachelor who all of a sudden wants to be part of his biological kids’ lives. Kim’s reluctant but Roos thinks it might not be a bad idea, so they agree to let him take the children for a night here and there. They meet with Anne, who as I said before is about to be made partner at the firm, to hammer out a visitation deal.

We also meet Ilse (Yolanthe Cabau), who’s holding her brand-new infant son in her arms and arguing with Sabri (Iliass Ojja) about whose surname the kid gets, since they’re (GASP) not married. You’d think they’d have discussed this at least once in the previous nine or so months, but no. They go home and his Moroccan mother shows up to stay indefinitely and force them to conform to her family’s cultural norms, most prominently a big family party where the kid gets circumcised and a sheep gets sacrificed in his name. None of this sits well with Ilse.

Meanwhile, Anne and Barry deal with a baby who cries all night and a lifestyle where they work all day and a dilemma where their sex life suffers and may be exacerbated by the attractive nanny they’ve hired to help out. Things also come to a head with the Kim/Roos/Kaj situation, as Kim isn’t one who relinquishes control of any situation ever, especially when she learns that Kaj isn’t being totally honest with them about his past; he’s a good guy with good intentions who always finds himself in predicaments where he accidentally locks the toddler in the car, stuff like that. Will all this parental pandelerium resolve itself or what?

Hey guess what, parenting is hard! So are marriages. And assorted family dynamics. Bet you didn’t know that! The Wonder Weeks surely wants couples of all stripes to smile and nod in acknowledgment of these characters’ assorted travails: Remember, you’re not alone in this crazy thing called life. Take comfort in knowing that other people have problems, too! These wafer-thin types work through generic situations in a narrative that’s rendered so broadly, it’s as if the screenwriters feared alienating potential audiences with anything deeper than tepid greeting-card sentiments. This movie has an enemy, and it is specificity.

And that’s why this 90-minute snoozefest comes off as little more than a year in the life of some Movie Characters. With its same-sex couple and an unmarried pair from wildly different cultural backgrounds, it attempts to offer a diverse range of characters, but ends up leaning heavily on wearisome stereotypes, the most egregious being the offensive portrayal of these BACKWARDS Moroccan people that actually want to SACRIFICE a SHEEP. Beyond that, the characters are summed up with feeble cliches: The Mom Balancing a Career and Motherhood, the Control Freak, the Mother-in-Law Who’s All Up In Your Business, the Bachelor Who’s Loosey-Goosey About Schedules and Keeping His Apartment Tidy. The tone ranges from wacky to melodramatic to lightly satirical, but the entire mixture is so flavorless, it’s like one part orange juice to nine parts water.

The Wonder Weeks 2023 Movie Review