Shiva Baby

Director: Emma Seligman
Year Released: 2020
Rating: 2.0

Mixed-up college student Danielle (Rachel Sennott) - she's studying "the business of gender" - is forced to attend the shiva (mourning period after a death) of a distant relative with her parents, only to discover that not only is her former girlfriend Maya (Molly Gordon) there, but so is her married "sugar daddy" (Danny Deferrari) as well as a lot of relatives loaded with questions to ask her.  For anyone who views large family gatherings as a form of torture, this will seem like a Wes Craven movie with its awkward moments and endless tension, but it never manages to escape feeling like a short film padded to (barely) feature film length: Seligman's got the claustrophobia down pat, but it's missing a vital intellectual component.  Also, I know the filmmaker views them as an irritating obstacle, but I found Danielle's parents - played delightfully by Polly Draper and Fred Melamed - to be way more tolerant and forgiving than a lot of families I've met....