Written and directed by Bess Wohl, “Baby Ruby” tells us about the kind of impact postpartum psychosis has on a woman and what she has to deal with in order to give birth. Noemie Merlant, as Jo, does an outstanding job of bringing us face to face with the paranoia and fears of a new mother through her performance. Kit Harington, playing the character of Spencer, shows us how important it is for any husband to not only empathize with the situation, but also support his partner in every possible way. “Baby Ruby” really does make you afraid of having a baby, and clearly not something any new parent wants to witness, but on top of that, it aims to normalize a lot of things that are considered taboo in our society. So, let’s try to understand the kind of dilemma Jo was going through and whether or not she was able to overcome it.
‘Baby Ruby’ Plot Summary: What Is the Movie About?
Jo’s life had become the baby that was to be born in the life of her and her husband, Spencer. Although Spencer found it a little strange that Jo would organize her own baby shower, she insisted, since she was very particular with each and every detail and she wanted everything to be perfect. Jo was from France and the whole American concept of baby showers was pretty foreign to her. Jo kept a vlog called “Love Josephine” where she posted updates about her life. Due to her intriguing perspective and engaging content, she had created a community of loyal readers who expected her to post her updates. Jo herself made sure to answer each and every comment from her personally, as she believed that it was very necessary to give that kind of importance to every reader. The readership had multiplied, and Jo had also launched an online store of late. It all started when Jo posted a cheese soufflé recipe online that broke the internet, and from then on, there was no going back.
After much anticipation, the day finally came and baby Ruby was born. Until then, Jo had realized how difficult it was to have a baby during those nine months, but what she didn’t know was that raising a child was a different ballgame and that she was embarking on a journey that would change her life. life. . It is not easy to cope after the body experiences such a big drop in estrogen levels and undergoes such major changes. Like any new parent, Spencer and Jo had many sleepless nights and sometimes didn’t know what to do to get Ruby to sleep. Life had become extremely chaotic and Jo couldn’t tell the difference between night and day. She experienced extreme mood swings, and after a month indoors, changing diapers and feeding the newborn did not help her cause. Jo began to suffer from paranoia along with auditory and visual hallucinations, and there were multiple conspiracy theories cooking inside her head.
Jo’s happiest moments were when she was able to put baby Ruby to sleep, and her life turned into her, so much so that she forgot she had a vlog she needed to run. Caroline, her assistant, reminded her that readers were still waiting for the baby photo, and since it had been over a month since the last upload, they had begun to question the credibility of the website. But Jo wasn’t in a mental or physical state to worry about anything. Her house was a mess, and her life was messier. Spencer was always there to help and supported her at all times, but Jo didn’t like leaving her daughter with him, as she harbored some strange fears. Once Jo woke up with a start, she saw her dog chewing on a bone and instantly imagined the worst possible thing. Although the couple dismissed the issue, they went to see a doctor and told him how nervous they were about parenthood in general. Jo told the doctor that Ruby cried so much that nothing seemed to stop her. The doctor told both Spencer and Jo that her son looked fantastic and there was nothing to worry about.
The hormones made Jo restless and impatient, and there were times when she would just yell at people for no apparent reason. Spencer knew that she needed to take a break and get her life back on track. He wanted her to confide in Ruby and occasionally go out alone and meet her friends for a change. Once, Jo had taken Ruby out for a walk when she tripped over the baby carriage and, for a moment, she felt that Ruby had hurt herself. Shelly, who lived in the neighborhood, came running to see if she was okay. Shelly took her to meet her friends, a group of young mothers who had probably gone through or were going through a similar phase. Jo couldn’t help but notice how well rested and happy they looked. She asked them how they managed their lives while taking care of the baby. Jo didn’t want to sound like she hated her son, but she was curious as to what they were doing differently because what she was doing clearly wasn’t enough. Spencer finally asked his wife to come to dinner with him, since she had been away for a long time and she needed Jo to have some alone time without Ruby.
Jo went out to dinner, but all hell broke loose when, while looking at Ruby in the baby chamber, she noticed the presence of a strange apparition near the crib whispering something in her daughter’s ear. Jo ran out of the hotel and returned home, only to discover that Ruby was safe and that the voice she had heard on the baby chamber was Doris, Spencer’s mother.
‘Baby Ruby’ Ending Explained: Was Jo Overcome Her Paranoia?
After the dinner debacle, Jo began to feel that her baby was angry or disappointed in her. Tiredness, hormonal changes and everything else started playing on her mind and she was constantly losing control of her life. She began to see her baby as a sinister entity that was intentionally trying to upset her. She would sometimes yell at the baby, telling her that she would not let her win. The idea of killing her baby came to his mind more than once. Obviously, her postpartum depression had completely taken over her subconscious and she was constantly drifting away from reality. The hallucinations and visions of her weren’t stopping either, and she was always angry to the bone, and we saw her lose her temper on more than one occasion and argue with Spencer when he was just trying to help. In a fit of rage, Jo decided that she would party with Shelly and other moms, and while Spencer had no problem with that, she knew the motive behind it wasn’t the right one. That night, Jo became intimate with Shelly and she passed out in her car in the parking lot. It was probably the first time in months that Jo had slept well. Spencer sarcastically commented on how nice it was to finally get some alone time with her daughter, and Jo didn’t take it very well.
After suspecting that her baby was disappointed in her, Jo began to suspect that “Baby Ruby” was trying to tell her something, but couldn’t take her cues. Spencer got worried about his wife’s situation and called Doris to stay for a few days so she could have some time off. The conversation Doris had with Jo was probably the most important part of “Baby Ruby.” More often than not, people unnecessarily glorify motherhood and place unrealistic expectations on any woman. A mother is also a human being at the end of the day, and it is normal for her to feel certain things, even if they are not a generally accepted notion or perspective.
Doris had been through a similar situation when Spencer was born and talked about it. She told Jo that she sometimes felt strange guilt, as she loved her baby but she also despised him. Ella Doris said that she dreamed of doing the most terrible things possible, and thinking about them made her nauseated. Doris said that there were times when she just hoped that someone would come from her and take responsibility for her so that she could go back to being the happy-go-lucky person that she had always been. The problem was that no mother could dare even talk about such things, but the fact was that it was a widely experienced phenomenon and resisting just because it seemed unscrupulous was not right.
But Jo did not stop making conspiracy theories and began to feel that Ruby’s life was in danger. She believed that Shelly and other mothers had killed their babies to free themselves from responsibility. Spencer had realized that his wife needed help, so he called the professionals who were coming to take Jo away. After hearing that, Jo became even more paranoid, so she took Ruby and drove away in her car. That night, Jo was in an accident and suffered serious injuries, but luckily Ruby was safe. The doctor released her only after she was sure she was not experiencing hallucinations or showing any postpartum symptoms. The doctor asked her to take everything about herself very calmly and to try to do things that make her happy. Jo came home and was afraid to even go over and check on Ruby. She was afraid of hurting her child, and Spencer showed faith in her, telling her that he wasn’t capable of doing such a thing. But as soon as she heard her baby cry once more in the middle of the night, all those terrible feelings came back.
By the end of “Baby Ruby,” though Jo had conquered many of her fears, she hadn’t fully overcome them. Perhaps she will eventually realize that motherhood is an uphill battle and that she needs to stop being afraid of herself. The best thing that Jo had that many other women going through a similar situation did not have was an empathetic husband who always gave her hope that one day she would overcome her fears and that she was an exceptional mother. Jo needed to know that she was not unsuitable for her daughter and that any withdrawal symptoms she was experiencing were part and parcel of the hormonal changes her body had undergone.
“Baby Ruby” is a 2023 drama thriller directed by Bess Wohl.