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Review: Days of Daisy – “A light-hearted story about making the hard choices in life”

Jency Griffin Hogan and Bryan Langlitz in DAYS OF DAISY

“Time is such a bitch.”

I’m certainly at this stage where I feel truer words may never have been spoken in a film, and yet Days of Daisy seems to get this just right.  You may have different ways of connecting to this line, but for our protagonist Daisy (Jency Griffin Hogan) they relate to her want to have a child and her biological clock ticking.  At 39 she has been told, as all women are told, that her “advanced maternal age” means her chances of conceiving are dwindling.  Like many people, Daisy always wanted to have a kid ‘one day’ but she’s informed those days are right now if she is likely to be successful at all.  

As an early 40-something year old myself, Daisy’s struggle and realization that time is catching up with her is something that I find entirely relatable.  Unlike Daisy I never really had the drive for children, but I certainly feel societal pressure that this is something I should be doing.  Once you hit this age threshold there is an immense sense of expectation and urgency.  Written by Paul Petersen and Alexander Jeffery (who also directs) based on a story in collaboration with star Hogan, these feelings surrounding motherhood and the impending reality of time will speak to many.  

When Daisy arrives home from her doctor’s appointment and broaches the subject of children with her non-committal boyfriend, she finds out that he doesn’t want them at all.  She breaks off the relationship immediately – again, time is of the essence – and moves back in with her parents.  As Daisy ponders her future she continues her work as the librarian of a high school, until suddenly the art teacher, frustrated at lack of funding with her program, leaves.  That teacher provided a guiding light to a group of students Daisy has connected with, creating a safe space for self expression, and so Daisy takes it upon herself to try and fill the void and save the art program, with the help of a local photographer, Jack (Bryan Langlitz).

If you think with the introduction of Jack you can tell where the story is going from here, you’d be mostly right, but this is not really a true romantic comedy.  It’s a light-hearted story about making the hard choices in life.  Because while Daisy and Jack do move through a typical rom-com montage of cute moments, they also need to have the hard conversation that looms over Daisy’s head.  A rational, real, adult conversation.  It’s not all happy endings.  Or at least not the happy ending Daisy envisioned. 

And perhaps that’s why, upon some contemplation, I feel Days of Daisy is a little more resonant than its production value would let you believe.  What it might lack in some of those areas, it makes up for in realism and heart.  It avoids the typical ‘love triangle’ because that is never the point.  Days of Daisy isn’t really about the love story, it’s not about saving the art program, these are all just plot points in a character piece that force Daisy to think about what her future looks like.  I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes from 2019’s Parasite: “You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan at all.” While I didn’t anticipate it while watching the film, especially in the beginning, by its end Days of Daisy gave me a meaningful reminder.   Not just that time is a bitch, and it is, but that sometimes in order to find happiness, we have to be flexible in order to fully embrace the best of what life has to offer.

Days of Daisy premieres on June 14th at the Dances With Films festival (a showcase for independent productions, currently celebrating its 25th year)

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