Oh A24, what are you doing?
False Positive is dynamite distributor A24’s latest foray into the psychological thriller genre, following a couple struggling to have a baby and an uber-confident fertility doctor guaranteeing to make their dreams come true. The final product boils down to a diet Rosemary’s Baby, yet lacks any real suspense or thrills thanks to a lackluster script. The complexities of childbirth and commentaries on the culturally entwined roles man and woman serve in pregnancy are completely submerged under a sea of mediocre writing, acting and storytelling. What could have been a cheesy but topical reclamation of the feminist nature of childbirth is instead a painfully surface level attempt at the approachable arthouse-esque style A24 films are known for. The cinematography is competent enough, but the editing and semi-fractured storytelling can be more of a headache than the film probably intended.
Whether it be because of a toothless script or not, the acting is disappointingly lackluster. I think Ilana Glazer is incredibly funny and was ready to buy her in this dramatic role, but her character gives her little to work with outside of some cringy, faux-emotional lines that sound way too amateurish for the A24 banner. Veteran James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan is probably the best part of the film only because he’s allowed to be a pompous, holier than thou asshole that elicits campy delight. At the end of the day, the film fails to shock or surprise thanks to its very obvious twists and turns that can be guessed about 10 minutes into the film. Its themes are all over the place, unable to land on one central idea and instead chooses to be purposefully abstract and disjointed to cover its weaknesses. A huge misfire and a disappointment for all parties involved.