You might be tempted to see Baby Teeth, after it was showered with awards and you feel the need to support the forever struggling Australian arts industry with this feature film debut for Shannon Murphy.
Baby Teeth deals with teenager Mila dealing with her cancer diagnoses and being ostracized by her female high school peers. She finds acceptance and love with your classic bad-boy older teenager, Moses, whom she meets at the train station.
Her parents are suitable disapproving of the relationship. They reluctantly let him play unpaid night nurse and confidante in exchange for food and a couch.
Both parents are confused and lost at the impending health situation. They turn to old and new lovers and relationships. Daddy befriends the neighbour who needs assistance with everyday chores, like changing a light bulb. But the hero doesn’t sleep with his neighbour. She’s pregnant, so that would never happen.
It makes you wonder about psychiatrists when they are self-medicating, over prescribing and unable to solve their own personal demons and mental issues. It’s okay, though we’ll make some jokes about illegal mushroom season around the kitchen table.
Babyteeth is essentially a modern-day Australian spin on Romeo and Juliet without the gangs and guns. Daddy promises to look after our bad boy, who’ll, no doubt, be straight back on the street after the funeral.
The final scenes are pretty disturbing and you’ll discover (in one breath) why it was called Babyteeth. The film has moments of good banter and acting, but overall, it’s pretty predictable, manipulative and depressing.
When seriously ill teenager Milla falls madly in love with small-time drug dealer Moses, it’s her parents’ worst nightmare. But as Milla’s first brush with love brings her a new lust for life, things get messy and traditional morals go out the window. Milla soon shows everyone in her orbit – her parents, Moses, a sensitive music teacher, a budding child violinist, and a disarmingly honest, pregnant neighbour – how to live like you have nothing to lose. What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family instead leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life. Babyteeth joyously explores how good it is not to be dead yet and how far we will go for love.
Starring some of Australia’s finest talent, including rising star Eliza Scanlan, Toby Wallace, Ben Mendelsohn and Essie Davis. Directed by Shannon Murphy.