Bronagh Gallagher plays forty-something single mother Pamela. She’s a free-spirit who likes a good time which stands in sharp contrast to her judgmental, vegan teenage daughter Allegra (Lola Petticrew), When a one-night stand with a much younger, local plumber leads to a “geriatric pregnancy,” Pamela is told by her gynecologist that this time will be different. “You have more sense,” he says, “more experience, you’re financially better off.”
Barry the plumber (Andy Doherty), like Allegra’s father many years before, becomes a ghost when he hears the news, leaving mother and daughter to put aside their differences and prepare for the arrival of a new family member.
“A Bump Along the Way” is a feel-good movie that transcends the usual clichés of the genre. It weaves the tried-and-true freethinking mother and uptight daughter with big dollops of misogyny, sympathy and a few laughs. Director Shelly Love emphasizes not only Pamela and Allegra’s real-life trials and tribulations but also the joy in a film that brims with empathy.
Strong central performances from Gallagher and Petticrew bring authenticity to a story that threatens to dissolve into overly treacly territory, but never does. It’s not exactly a kitchen sink drama, it’s too sanguine for that, but, like the Netflix show that would work as a companion piece for a night’s binge, it is a well observed story with terrific, earthy performances.