Directed by Janis Pugh (Blue Collars and Buttercups; The Befuddled Box of Betty Buttifint) and starring Louise Brealey (Sherlock; Brian and Charles; Such Brave Girls; Lockwood & Co.), Annabel Scholey (Jane Eyre TV Series; Personal Affairs, Walking on Sunshine), Emily Aston (Dead Man’s Shoes; Millions), Edyta Budnik (Ted Lasso; A Discovery of Witches; Killing Eve) and Sorcha Cusack (Snatch; Father Brown; Jane Eyre).

Drama, Romance ; 101 mins; 12+

On the evening of Wednesday 20 March 2024, the British & Irish Film Festival Luxembourg (BIFFL) screened the film Chuck Chuck Baby, a 2023 musical romance drama that had its world premiere in Toronto.

Helen (Louise Brealey) works a draining job in a local chicken factory in industrial Northern Wales. Her life is difficult and busy with her ex-husband, his dying mother Gwen, his 20-year-old girlfriend and their new baby. She finds some joy in music and shenanigans with her friends at work, as well as in caring for Gwen, to whom she is very close and whom she sees as a mother figure.

When Joanne, the girl she secretly had a crush on at school, comes back to town, Helen's life changes drastically. Suddenly, there is a fresh wind of hope and romance that seems to cheer up her other loved ones too (although not everyone feels it the same way). Yet Joanne has her own demons to battle, and visiting the house she grew up in plunges her back into a painful world in which love seems to have no place.

Despite the odd dark moments and general hopelessness in the heroine's living situation, this is a feel-good film with a heavy dose of delightful music, humorous scenes of female friendship and a cheerful and touching atmosphere. There are amusing musical scenes set amongst the falling feathers of the chicken factory, among other quirky and imaginative displays of uncomplicated, yet grand romantic (and platonic) love. The wonderful soundtrack and the actresses' heartfelt and thoroughly realistic acting makes this crowdpleaser into a very memorable film.