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Lovely, warm performances from Bronagh Gallagher and Lola Petticrew are at the heart of this pregnancy comedy set in Derry in Northern Ireland, written by Tess McGowan and directed by Shelly Love – both feature first-timers – and produced by Louise Gallagher (sister of Bronagh).
Gallagher plays Pamela, a good-natured optimist by nature, working hard to bring up her teenage daughter on her own, after her partner ran out on them. This is Ally – a smart, focused, sensitive performance from Petticrew. But Pamela is not just a placid, boring mum; she likes a good time and the occasional drink and a laugh and after a one-night stand with a younger guy, she finds to her astonishment that she is pregnant again at 44, having been assured long ago by the medical profession that she was infertile.
McGowan’s script conveys how mind-bendingly embarrassing this is for Ally, whose own love life at school is mortifying enough, and she is unable to decide how she feels about her impending half-sibling – aside, that is, from correctly sensing how this imminent event is going to make their financial and emotional situation even more difficult.
The movie has a few awkward narrative transitions and a few EastEnders-ish running-out-of-the-room-crying scene endings, but the overall mood is persuasive and heartfelt and Bronagh Gallagher is a great lead. She lets the audience understand her mingling of dread and pride at being a mum again, just when she assumed that nothing would ever again happen to her.
• A Bump Along the Way is released in the UK on 11 October.
Source: The Guardian
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