Up until the dreadful ending, the film was a breath of fresh air to the indie gay-comedy genre with its playful yet witty humor.
A lot of sitcoms start with the same premise as Jonathan Lisecki’s Gayby, biological alarm clocks go off and suddenly everyone is infected with baby fever. This lightweight indie comedy takes that exact plot a couple steps further while treading (but never crossing) the thin line of an exaggerated story. Circumstances that arise in the film are actually happening more and more in today’s society of alternative parenting. Except briefly in one scene, the film wisely stays away preaching a political agenda. Gayby is not without its fault though, most of which show up in the film’s final act, which in the end alters the trajectory of where the film could have landed.
Within the first five minutes the tent poles of the story are up, Jenn (Jenn Harris) and Matt (Matthew Wilkas) are thirty-something friends who are desperately single. They made a pact in college if they did not have a baby by the time they were in their thirties that they would have one together. This sounds fairly straightforward until two curveballs are thrown. The first one being that she is straight and he is gay. But the real kicker though is that she wants to make the baby “the old fashioned way”.
As with any couple trying to conceive a baby (or in this case a gayby), problems arise. Even though the two engage in intercourse at the most opportune times according to Jenn’s ovulating schedule, he fails to impregnate her. Looking to point the finger at anything but herself; Jenn blames her apartment’s energy to be off because of the sterile paint job.
The bedroom scenes are without a doubt the funniest scenes in the film. At the same time, it handles the awkward procedure with relative ease. The dynamic between the two leads make the whole situation feel more plausible than it may seem on paper. Because the comedic timing and chemistry thrive when the two share the screen, they succeed in carrying the production even at the weakest points.
Gayby takes cues from the HBO’s hit show, Girls, by showcasing the complications of being a single girl (and a gay guy) in New York City. Just like Lean Dunham does in the show, Jenn Harris is a wise-cracking woman who always seems to find the wrong guys. Moreover, the film even borrows two of the shows stars, Adam Driver and Alex Karpovsky. One major difference between these two is that the film replaces hipster culture for gay culture, but the results are equally as hilarious.
Because the first two acts of Gayby were sensational, it makes the third act that much more disappointing when all of the built up steam runs out. Up until the dreadful ending, the film was a breath of fresh air to the indie gay-comedy genre with its playful yet witty humor. What makes the film so great is whether you are; straight or gay, male or female, parent or not, you can find most of the film pleasing. It is too bad that the film itself was not premature in its own delivery because that ending should not have arrived at all.