A Bump Along The Way – Film Review
by Letizia Delmastro
Director: Shelly Love
Writer: Tess McGowan (Written by)
Stars: Bronagh Gallagher, Lola Petticrew, Mary Moulds
Many films have been made about relationships between mothers and daughters, but few, if any, have the truthfulness and grittiness that “A bump along the way” has.
The movie tells the story of Pamela (Bronagh Gallagher), a 44-year-old single mother from Derry who after her birthday celebrations with her girlfriends – all fuelled by “six bottles of prosecco and a feed of gin and tonics”- ends up having a drunken, unprotected, one night stand with a 24 year-old guy from the town. After a few days, she finds her worries about getting checked for STDs surpassed by a bigger shock: against all odds, she got pregnant.
The news is not received well by her daughter Allegra (Lola Petticrew), who is already ashamed of her mother, and considers her to be, as all teenagers do, “the worst”. Without realizing it, Lola turns herself into her mother’s bully: she shames her inability to keep up with the latest healthy vegan foods, huffs and puffs at her every word, and can’t help but blame her mother for all that is wrong in her life.
Throughout the movie we feel for Pamela, for her attempt at just navigating through a though life: we see that she is, after all, just trying to do her best to maintain her family with a small part-time job in a local bakery, fighting with an abusive ex-husband who refuses to help financially and with an angry teenage daughter. At the same time Petticrew portrays the teenager that we have all been in some degree, angsty, feisty and know-it-all: only occasionally letting her guard down and showing her own true and sweet colours in some heart-warming moments with her mother.
Although at times threatening to go down a much darker road, the conflicts manage to solve themselves: both Pamela and Lola learn how to stand up for themselves and to be proud of being their own person (and of each other). The acting is truly superb throughout the film, with Gallagher’s being particularly engaging for the audience; the cinematography and direction too give the feeling of being sat in the characters’ house, enjoying a cup of tea and participating in their personal joys and sorrows. Multiple times I felt like comforting Lola, or giving poor Pamela a hug; many times I found myself laughing out loud at the down-to-earth Irish humour that is just used so well…and I did shed a few tears, too.
“A bump along the way” is a beautiful tale of everyday struggles and joys to which we can all relate, superbly acted and told in words and images that are delicate, but also strong and true. The story of a normal mother and daughter trying their best to navigate through life, through many cups of teas, some prosecco glasses and a few rows.