Adapted by Jonathan Lisecki from his popular short film, low budget indie comedy Gayby fits snugly in to the rom-com genre without becoming too clichéd.
Adapted by Jonathan
Lisecki from his popular short film, low budget indie comedy Gayby fits snugly
in to the rom-com genre without becoming too clichéd.
30-somethings Jenn (Jenn
Harris) and Matt (Matthew Wilkas)
have been best friends since high school.
With Jenn having only had relationships with men lasting 5 months at a
time and Matt, following a bad break-up, unsuccessfully trawling gay personal
ads for a like-minded soul who isn’t just in it for the sex, they both seem
destined to be unlucky in love.
With their love lives at a standstill they decide to have a baby
together – the conventional way. Cue
a series of awkward but hilarious bedroom scenes as straight Jenn and gay Matt
attempt to make a ‘gayby’ (despite Matt’s explanation that this term is only
used when two gay people want to be parents). Meanwhile both carry on with work (Jenn as a yoga teacher
and Matt as a comic book seller in a store) and each go on a series of
ill-fated dates through online dating.
Soon however they discover that conceiving can be difficult and when
their individual sex lives begin to thrive, their relationship as best buds and
their decision to make a baby are thrown in to turmoil.
The movie world is certainly guilty of churning out clichéd
romantic comedies with predictable, tedious storylines and mundane
characters. Gayby does have a
pretty basic premise with some familiar plot threads such as Matt’s self-doubt
over geeky new flame Scott (Mike Doyle)
and the complications that arise when Jenn (crazy horny from drinking cup loads
of fertility tea) has sex with her boss’s brother Louis (Louis Cancelmi). It
also has some undeniably cheesy moments like when Matt invents a cartoon character
named Super Gayby. However Lisecki
manages to overcome all of this with great characterisation, strong dialogue and
sharp, modern humour, transcending the rom-com formula. The characters as a whole are warm and appealing
and neither Jenn nor Matt are your conventional rom-com protagonists. Characters such as Jenn’s work buddy
and friendly ear, Jamie (Jack Ferver)
and Matt’s knowledgeable pal, Nelson (Jonathan Lisecki himself) are stereotypically overly-camp, but they are
very watchable. Confident, witty one-liners
fly around left, right and centre with lashings of urban slang words like
‘cramazing’ and of course ‘gayby.’
We are treated to some great comedy scenes such as confusion when both
Jenn and Matt’s dates turn up at their home at the same time. Otherwise gloomy, serious scenes are
perked up with comical shots (like Jenn pushing an empty baby swing) or at one
point a deep, brooding cover of a Beyoncé
Gayby does look at the issue of gay parenting but not in any
real serious sense, instead focussing more on modern relationships. It has clearly just set out to be a sweet,
entertaining romantic comedy and it achieves this. Sexy, energetic and with a humour not unlike that of Bridesmaids, it achieves the perfect
balance between hilarious comedy and sweet sentimentality.