Emma Seligman's SHIVA BABY follows 20-something Danielle (Rachel Sennott), a perennial student who can't stop lying to her supportive but overbearing parents about her faltering academic career. Then again, she has a lot of secrets she's keeping, including her relationship with an older man, Max (Danny Deferrari), her sugar daddy. Hauled off to a shiva by her parents for someone she hardly remembers, she's mortified to encounter her embittered ex Maya (Molly Gordon), plus a host of family friends and distant relatives who make things increasingly more awkward. Much to her chagrin, she finds out that many of them have secrets of their own. SHIVA BABY is a caustically affectionate comedy about tightly knit families and communities, and the comfort and anguish they're often responsible for. Writer/director Seligman structures the film expertly as Danielle lurches from one potentially catastrophic encounter to another — each one threatening to expose her multiple fabrications — while navigating spilled drinks, wailing babies and an endless string of friends and relations anxious to give advice in this sharp-witted and hilarious debut.
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