For his sophomore feature film Goya Award-winning director, Carlos Marques-Marcet chose to tackle a relatively new predicament that of a gay couple who are not on the same page about having a baby together.
Salsa teacher Eva (Oona Chaplin ) and her Spanish girlfriend part-time bartender Kat (Natalia Tena) seem to have a rather idyllic life living on a barge as they cruise up and down the Regent Canal in London. Then when Chorizo their cat dies, Eva announces that instead of replacing the pet, she would rather have a baby to make them into a real family.
This is obviously not the first time the matter has been raised and as usual, it is met by a defensive Kat who brings up all the practical excuses why this shouldn’t happen, rather than openly admit to the fact that she just does not want to ever be a parent,
Into the picture comes Roger (David Verdaguer) who is Kat’s best friend from Barcelona who is going to stay on the boat with them for a couple of weeks. On the very first night they spend together, all three of them get totally wasted and in a drunken state, Roger agrees to Eva’s request to father her baby. The next morning, with all of them having ferocious hangovers, Kat wants to simply dismiss Roger’s agreement as something rashly given when under the influence of alcohol, but he and Eva are however determined to proceed.
So the two women then decide to draw up an agreement with Roger that limits his role to purely bring a donor, but when Eva’s mother Germaine (played by Oona Chaplin’s real life mother Geraldine Chaplin) is told, she immediately asks Roger what he really feels about being side-lined, she hits the nail on the head. Whilst Kat may not really want to be a parent, Roger would love to totally embrace the situation if he was ever allowed too.
Marques-Marcet’s bittersweet drama is not however just about having a baby or not, but is in fact a very touching film about the things we are prepared to do in the name of love. With this script he produced with newbie writer Jules Nurrish this modern rom-com gently explores the possibilities of how different life could turn out if no-one is ever prepared to compromise.
The very entertaining Anchor and Hope reunite the director with the very competent Verdaguer and Tena who starred together in his debut feature 10,000Km, and the addition of the talented Misses Chaplin completes a very convincing perfect cast.
How life could have turned out if they had all made different decisions is like pondering the reality of Barge life in London in winter, which would have certainly not made nearly such a pretty picture!
‘Anchor and Hope’ will be shown at Frameline 42 at the Victoria Theatre, Saturday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m.