Giving Birth to a Butterfly (2021)

Giving Birth to a Butterfly (2021) MOVIE DETAILS
Name: Giving Birth to a Butterfly
Year: 2021
Country: USA
Director: Theodore Schaefer
Main cast: Annie Parisse, Gus Birney, Rachel Resheff, Jessica Pimentel, Judith Roberts
Runtime: 77 minutes
Production company: Dweck Productions, Hardball Entertainment


Giving Birth To A Butterfly (2021) has literally everything I could ever dream of. A picturesque set-up, theatrical characters with quirky, funny ways, a good bizarre sense of humor, and a dreamy vibe combined with pet shops and unexpected Simpsons references. Like a weaver, it folds and unfolds, intertwines threads poetically into a beautiful scenery, and even if some threads don’t seem to bring you anywhere, the vibrant personality of this journey and its passengers makes the whole trip worthy.

The movie tells the story of Diane (Annie Parisse), the mother of a pretty much dysfunctional family, whose identity just got stolen, and Marlene (Gus Birney), her recently introduced daughter-in-law, who is pregnant with her previous boyfriend. Chasing after the suspects of stealing Diane’s identity, Diane and Marlene will embark secretly on a surreal journey that will be the center of a powerful road movie full of magic and happy sadness.

All the characters surrounding Diane and Marlene are certainly lively and strong, from the enthusiastic but slightly megalomaniac father (Paul Sparks) to his naive, magician son. But what sustains the film are definitely its strong female characters, who dedicate themselves in many different ways to claim “one’s own room” in a world of caregivers and caretakers. Diane and Marlene are certainly not the only pillars of the film and it’s, in fact, Marlene’s mother –Judith Roberts’s performance deserves an extra mention here–, an old, funny woman with an old Hollywood star complex, who solves the tension between dreams and awakeness, theater and real life. Because, in the end, this is exactly what the movie is all about: the duality of life and art and how both forms always melt into each other.

Theodore Schafer’s directorial debut, Giving Birth To A Butterfly (2021) is, above all, a metaphor for the creative process. Not a pretentious, metafilm one, but certainly unique. Gray but colorful, full of twins, bizarre toys, animals, and weary dreams, Schafer’s film comes like a lo-fi Wes Anderson story that melts the ordinary with the magic, to picture life right as it is: simple but complicated, dull but full of weirdness. Trivial, and yet, amazing to experience.

RATE: 8/10