It’s the story of Ruth (screenwriter Sonja Bennett), a 35 year-old grocery store cashier (along with co-worker Danny Trejo) who hasn’t embraced maturity. She lives in her father Walter’s (James Caan) basement and spends her off hours drinking and partying. Her perpetual hungover condition stands in stark contrast to her circle of friends, most of which have settled down and are raising families.
After an embarrassing episode at a baby shower—she hits a kid with a baseball bat and gifts the mom-to-be with a sex toy—Ruth becomes a pariah… until her friends, Shannon (Laura Harris), Cherry (Denise Jones) and Deb (Carrie Ruscheinsky), mistakenly get the idea that she is pregnant. She’s welcomed back into the fold and comes to enjoy the plusses of pregnancy minus the procreation.
“Preggoland” is part farce, part semi-serious examination of a lost thirty-something trying to make her way in a social sphere that is changing too rapidly for her to keep up. Director Jacob Tierney balances the two approaches, blending laugh-out-loud comedy with some of the painful revelations Ruth must come to grips with. It’s a nuanced look at a desperate attempt to be part of the motherhood in-crowd and the fallout from trying to hard to belong.
“Preggoland’s” not-so-secret weapon is screenwriter and star Bennett. Relatable, even in her dark moments, she grounds the outlandish elements of the story, making them believable and poignant.