Review of “Tick Tock Lullaby”

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The film also has a unique sense of humor that flows from its sense of realism. Nothing is played up as a joke, per se, but several situations invite laughter, including some of Sasha’s more explicit drawings and much of the casual banter between her and Maya. In one particularly funny scene, Fiona emulates a baby’s crying (in bed, no less) to irritate Steve, who exclaims, “You aren’t doing it right!” One gets the sense that the characters are simply humorous people thrust into odd situations.

The obviously low-budget production values are the only real issue keeping the movie from greatness. Tick Tock Lullaby is competently made and well-edited, but it was clearly shot on video. Thankfully, the writing and performances are strong enough to carry the movie, and the visuals do add a sort of docudrama realism that fits nicely into the story line.

The acting is excellent and quite natural, particularly from leads Lisa Gornick and Raquel Cassidy. The pair has a believable, easygoing chemistry and a likability that’s infectious — you want them to succeed.

Jake Canuso is appropriately slick as Laurence, and Sarah Patterson is excellent as the disaffected, slightly strange Gillian. Both Joanna Bending and Sam Spruell are good in their roles, but Bending’s Fiona comes across as a relatively unappealing character, while Spruell’s Steve doesn’t have many lines to work with.

Gornick pulls triple duty as the writer, director and co-star, an admirable feat. Thankfully, her direction is deft, with a focus on capturing the realism of low-key moments that still drive the action forward. As a result, the film feels fresh and honest without becoming trite or boring.

It’s very anti-Hollywood, and in fact, a great example of just how much can be done with a fairly simple technical setup. It’s wonderful to see a quality film made for and about the community that’s taken Angela Robinson’s advice to heart.

While some viewers will be put off by the low-fi visuals, Tick Tock Lullaby is more than worth checking out for its unique, frank approach to an overdone subject. It couldn’t possibly be more different from the current crop of baby and pregnancy-related movies, which is probably a good thing.

Watch the trailer:

Tick Tock Lullaby comes out on DVD April 8, 2008.

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