Chuck Chuck Baby

United Kingdom | 2023 | 101 min. | Janis Pugh

In this bold Welsh film packed with flourishes of musical whimsy, Helen is a chicken factory worker still living with her estranged husband and his new family with a much younger woman. Can the return of a childhood friend bring Helen a second chance at life?

Helen works the night shift at the local poultry processing plant. Despite the long, ungodly hours, the job offers a genial camaraderie with her coworkers and a welcome respite from oafish husband Gary. Although legally separated, the couple still shares a home where Helen takes care of her ill mother-in-law Gwen, with whom she has a warm, maternal bond, while Gary loafs about with his vapid live-in girlfriend Amy and their rather colicky newborn. But hold on, this isn’t the British kitchen sink drama you think it is. Helen’s humdrum world takes a surprising turn with the prodigal return of her schoolgirl crush, Joanne. Thrilled by emotions she hasn’t felt in years, Helen encourages Joanne’s romantic affections, and it’s not long before she shows up outside the factory, ghetto blaster thumping, sports car revving to whisk Helen away for an impromptu beach holiday. But life intervenes as their burgeoning romance grows: Helen’s home life threatens to upend their happiness, leading the couple to make difficult emotional decisions. If you’ve been searching for a sapphic romance semi-diegetic jukebox musical—featuring the songs of Janis Ian, Minnie Riperton, and Neil Diamond—then Janis Pugh’s warmhearted, generous, and rousing first feature will strike the perfect chord.

—Dan Doody

  • Director: Janis Pugh
  • Principal Cast: Louise Brealey, Annabel Scholey, Sorcha Cusack, Celyn Jones
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 101 min.
  • Producer: Anne Beresford, Adam Partridge, Andrew Gillman, Peggy Cafferty, Lizzie Francke. Kimberley Warner, Eva Yates, Max Fisher, Mary Fisher
  • Screenplay: Janis Pugh
  • Cinematographers: Sarah Cunningham
  • Editors: Rebecca Lloyd
  • Music: Bree Winwood
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • US Distributor: Dark Star Pictures
  • International Sales: The Yellow Affair