By Kate Feldman
New York Daily News
Alysia Reiner sat on the script to “Egg” for 10 years, but 2018 proved to be exactly the right time for the dark motherhood comedy.
Reiner (“Orange is the New Black”) stars as Tina, a free-spirited creative with a trust fund, a two-floor apartment and a husband, Wayne (Gbenga Akinnagbe, “The Deuce”), who doesn’t need to keep a steady job.
Across from her is Karen (Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”), an art school frenemy who settled down with her husband, Don (David Alan Basche, “The Exes”), and gave up any professional aspirations.
Between the foursome, they have the cliches covered: the traditional couple, in which the man brings home the money and the wife waits patiently for his arrival, and the modern couple without gender roles or a car.
Enter Kiki (Anna Camp, “Pitch Perfect”), Wayne’s friend and the surrogate hired to carry for Tina, who wants to make her husband happy and is fascinated by motherhood, but doesn’t seem to understand the appeal of pregnancy.
What follows is a fascinating look at friendship, finances and fidelity in a movie that would have seem out of place even five years ago.
“There’s something about a long-term friendship between women,” Reiner, who also produced the movie along with Basche, her real-life husband, told the Daily News ahead of “Egg”‘s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “The truths we tell one another that we don’t necessarily express to ourselves.”
That’s not just about pregnancy, Hendricks and Reiner told The News, it’s politics and religion and money. They’re conversations women have danced around, but have only now been allowed to be discussed publicly.
The two female stars met at the Women’s March last year and the irony isn’t lost on either of them. As women begin to change their roles in society, so too do the women in “Egg.”
Tina and Karen, from opposite sides of the spectrum, are standing up for themselves and, more importantly, taking care of themselves. Two women who fit so neatly into their own worlds are suddenly forced to look inward from another direction as their lives spiral out of control.
The 90-minute movie, covering a real-time afternoon in a cluttered studio apartment filled with stuffed squirrels and bronzed baby shoes, finds five people at a turning point in their lives without any idea if they’re ready or if this is even what they want.
It’s tough to pick a villain: each character, even in the brief glimpse viewers are allowed, shows such a confusing, human combination of passion and disdain that the hero changes with each scene.
Even the final scene, an epilogue a year after that fateful day, only leaves more questions. But that’s by design; “Egg” isn’t about a happy ending. It’s about acceptance.
“There’s so much about the movie that’s just about being supporting and understanding,” Hendricks told The News.
“Someone else’s choices don’t have to be scary.”