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Gayby

Although it traffics freely in stereotypes and sitcom-style one-liners, "Gayby" is never less than likable as it tackles the complications that arise when a straight thirtysomething woman attempts to get pregnant "the old-fashioned way" with her gay male best buddy.

With:
With: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, Mike Doyle, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jack Ferver, Jonathan Lisecki, Louis Cancelmi, Alycia Delmore, Sarita Choudhury.

Although it traffics freely in stereotypes and sitcom-style one-liners, “Gayby” is never less than likable as it tackles the complications that arise when a straight thirtysomething woman attempts to get pregnant “the old-fashioned way” with her gay male best buddy. Balancing broad comedy and warm-and-fuzzy sentiment, this lightweight indie, which filmmaker Jonathan Lisecki adapted from his well-received short of the same title, could garner limited theatrical play before wider rollout on various home-screen platforms.

Tired of waiting for Mr. Right, Manhattan yoga instructor Jenn (Jenn Harris) enlists Matt (Matthew Wilkas), a comicbook store employee newly separated from his longtime boyfriend, to help her become a single mother. Actual intercourse is a bit awkward for both, since they’ve been friends since college days, and Matt isn’t terribly interested in close heterosexual contact. (One of the pic’s funniest scenes involves a very quick initial coupling.) They wind up having to take a somewhat more indirect approach with a little help from Nelson, a blithely bitchy wisecracker played with scene-stealing brio by Lisecki.

To increase her fertility, Jenn consumes a few herbal supplements. This is a big mistake: Overstimulated and uninhibited after a tad too much horny goat weed, she impulsively cavorts with a womanizing housepainter (Louis Cancelmi) who’s none too careful when it comes to contraception. As a result, when Jenn finally does turn up pregnant, she’s distressed by the suspicion that Matt may not be the responsible party.

The pacing is brisk and the zingers plentiful throughout “Gayby.” And even though some of the more stylized performances — including those by the two leads — often suggest the striking of poses rather than the expressing of emotions, such affectation is par for the course in this sort of frothy farce. Harris deserves special credit for her deft displays of physical comedy, especially when Jenn, once again overstimulated, does an impromptu pole dance.

Tech values are unassumingly adequate.

Popular on Variety

Gayby

Production: A Hubbhobb production. Produced by Amy Hobby, Anne Hubbell. Executive producers, Zeke Farrow, Laura Heberton. Directed, written by Jonathan Lisecki.

Crew: Camera (HD, color), Clay Liford; editor, Ann Husaini; music, Giancarlo Vulcano; production designer, Cat Navatto; set decorator, Sage Bartow; costume designer, David Tabbert; sound, Micah Bloomberg; associate producers, Townes Coates, Maureen Stanton, Pierre Stefanos; assistant directors, Louis Livingston, Laura Terruso. Reviewed at SXSW Film Festival (competing), March 15, 2012. Running time: 89 MIN.

Cast: With: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, Mike Doyle, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jack Ferver, Jonathan Lisecki, Louis Cancelmi, Alycia Delmore, Sarita Choudhury.

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