TIFF 2014: Preggoland – Capsule Review

By September 6, 2014 3 Comments

Director: Jacob Tierney
Actors: Sonja Bennett, Danny Trejo, Laura Harris, James Caan, Paul Campbell
Writer: Sonja Bennett
Country: Canada
Runtime: 106 min
Rating: N/A

The immature Ruth (Sonja Bennett) learns a lesson when she fakes her own pregnancy in Jacob Tierney’s film Preggoland (2014). Jealous of her friends who have all grown up without her, Ruth seeks acceptance through a lie that soon spirals out of control. Although its premise is promising, Preggoland is simply not a funny movie, which is especially disappointing due to the prior successes of its director. Bennett is a funny actress without any funny lines to deliver; ironic, given that she doubles as the film’s screenwriter. Although the movie does score a handful of humorous hits, the vast majority are wide misses. Ruth’s adolescent antics are simply unamusing, and her character is far less sharp or witty than is required for such a role to work. Supporting characters are relegated to caricatures of the overbearing sister and ditzy friends, while the talented James Caan is wasted as the excited grandfather-to-be. The plot itself follows a predictable trajectory and becomes ludicrous by its conclusion, which seemed as though it was never going to end. Preggoland was a good idea that did not work out. Neither endearing nor snarky, it merely lies in the middle. Check out Tierney’s The Trotsky (2010) for a better example of this director’s work.

Overall Rating: 3 / 10

Talia C.

Talia C.

Talia is a film fanatic proudly working in the Canadian publishing industry. She loves movies of all kinds, but recommends that you read the book first.


  • Kevin says:

    Wow, what a terribly written review. Who writes something as flat as “This is simply not a funny movie”? I’m all for tough criticism but would it have killed you to say that in a more original way? Have you never read anything by Anthony Lane, A.O. Scott – or in this country; Brian D Johnson, Ken Eisner, Todd Babiak, or heck, even Ron Yamauchi – and not been inspired to contribute to the artform that is film criticism? Plus, c’mon – 3 out of 10? You really found Preggoland that unwatchable? That feels like a disproportionate response – and a minority one compared to every other review of the film so far:

    [links removed]

    • Adnan M. says:

      Hi Kevin. Thanks for sharing your feedback. I am sure Talia will drop a comment at some point but I did want to address it immediately.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and Talia is simply sharing hers. The point of art is that its open to interpretation. A project can work for some, and not others. Its sad that we are limited to “capsule” reviews for some films at TIFF, as we’d like to explain our reasoning more. It probably answers your dilemma of “terribly written review”; it’s a simple review, without all the fuss. If you read her full reviews, she goes into detail about the points she addresses.

      Also, may I make clear: we are enthusiasts, not critics. We watch film cause we love them and love talking about them. We don’t call ourselves critics anywhere, so please, keep that in mind for next time. The numbers exist because, sadly, people are use to the idea of having a number/rating attached to a project. I would abolish the concept if I had the power to do so.

      P.S. – I removed the links above as we prevent linking in comments, for security reasons. No other reason.

    • Talia C. says:

      Hi Kevin! Capsule reviews unfortunately limit the amount of space I have to express my opinion, or I would have been able to say a lot more. I am primarily a fan of film and am always glad to hear when somebody enjoyed watching a movie – even if I didn’t! Thanks for checking out The Arts Guild and perhaps we will agree on the next one.

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