A fresh, understated comedy about birth, love and betrayal, <i>Gingerale Afternoon</i> lands us smack-dab in the middle of a ramshackle California trailer park, where we find Jesse (Dana Anderson) and Hank (John M. Jackson) living out their lives and trying to understand why everything has to be so difficult. Nine months pregnant, Jesse is no more prepared to cope with life as a mother than she has been with being a wife. She spends her days cleaning the trailer (sort of), lazing around outside in a bikini working on her tan, and fighting with Hank.
Life is fairly predictable, though no t particularly satisfying, until Jesse discovers that Hank is messing around with Bonnie (Yeardly Smith), a teenage dumpling given to shorts and halter tops, with a wisdom beyond her years. Words fly, tempers soar, egos bruise, and we see deeply into the hearts and minds of three sensitive and generous people.
An intimate, but at the same time universal, story, <i>Gingerale Afternoon</i> explores age-old themes with an unjaded eye and envelops us in its bosom, stretch marks and all. This is a warm and touching film, and director Rafal Zielinski is to be lauded for his ability to translate theatre into film so successfully. The casting is truly inspired and just goes to show that pregnant women can be indisputably desirable.