Days of Daisy (2023) Movie Review: Motherhood – unlike what most people would like to believe – is a difficult choice. It is not only about bringing a new life into the world but also about undergoing several physical and emotional doldrums to arrive at a permanent human condition. Popular culture has recently stopped valorizing mothers and turned the limelight toward the many shades that motherhood entails.
The Lost Daughter (2021) is a case in point. It shows us how Leda Caruso was a frustrated young mother, and she found herself irreparably changed due to motherhood. Days of Daisy (2023), directed by Alexander Jefferey, is another addition to this multifarious list of movies on motherhood. However, it looks at motherhood with dewy-eyed wonder and crafts a simple, heartwarming tale around it. The ideas in this film may feel a little dated, but you won’t regret picking up this film for unwinding after a day at work.
Daisy (played by Jency Griffin Hogan) is a 39-year-old librarian. She wishes to mother a child of her own, but she hasn’t found the love of her life or a father for her child yet. As we see right from the start of the film, she is under seething societal pressure to settle down. Her mother is so desperate about the same that she invites random men to the house for Daisy to meet. Daisy, however, believes that she can first become a mother to a child and then find the right one for her.
As she says, it needn’t be “A, B and C”; instead, it could be “A, C and B.” After all, her biological clock is ticking! In the course of the movie, she breaks up with her current partner, moves in with her parents, meets a cute photographer – Jack Palmer (played by Bryan Langlitz) – and decides to help her students put up an art show at school for gathering funds.
Is Palmer the right guy for Daisy, even though he makes a big revelation to her after their first impromptu date? Well, Days of Daisy (2023) is a romantic comedy, so it should not be too difficult to see where the writers, Alexander Jefferey and Paul Petersen, are headed with these obvious plot elements.
I appreciate how the movie comes clear and engages in real-life, adult conversations about planning to have a baby and settling down in a marriage. Daisy, in fact, breaks up with her year-long non-commital boyfriend because the latter confesses to not wanting kids ever. On the other hand, the conversation about having a baby because time is a bitch for a woman feels very dated in the current day and age, where there are several technological innovations to help people who want children at any age.
It is true that women are still on the receiving end of this ceaseless societal pressure to settle down and have kids. The film, in choosing this as its fundamental plot point, feels like it should have been made a couple of decades ago. The subplot where Daisy’s mother is constantly trying to set her up with men is far from humorous. At least, the plot is frank enough in considering alternative options of conception.
The frustrations that makeup Griffin Hogan’s character did not get communicated to me earnestly. She breaks up with her partner but barely expresses anything apart from general tiredness about her life throughout the movie. This is most jarring in the scenes that are meant to establish her ‘natural chemistry’ with Jack Palmer, and it ceases to be a good rom-com the moment the romantic leads don’t automatically zing.
Besides, the film completely misses out on engaging conversation between the characters. The conversations lack humor or overarching philosophy to drive home a subtext on motherhood, such as the missed opportunity to philosophize one of Palmer’s photographs of a woman at his latest exhibition. This makes Days of Daisy (2023) a slightly tedious watch. It is an overall feel-good movie, but the production value, acting, and dialogues can weigh you down. It has its heart in the right place, but it doesn’t quite know how to broach the topic of motherhood with finer nuance.