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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Saturday, March 24, 2012

October Baby Review

Earlier today I had the pleasure of checking out the premiere of the new film October Baby with my youth group. Last Sunday we had a little ice cream party with previews and behind-the scenes-look of the film. This type of premise is something I've never seen in a film, so I was intrigued. For those that don't know what the film's about, it's the story of an abortion survivor. At 19 she realizes that her whole life was a 'lie.' So she embarks on a trip to find her biological mother. Usually you would find either a Godzilla, comic book, or science fiction movie review here. This time however, I'll be talking about what one of the most moving films I've ever seen, October Baby.

About a month or two ago I had the honor of watching the film Courageous. Going into October Baby, I was expecting something similar in tone. Fans of Courageous will certainly enjoy this film. (Robert Amaya, who played Javier in Courageous, appears in this film as a cop.) The story of this film is just really interesting. When I first heard about it, the premise had caught me off guard. There aren't that many films that tackle this issue, but this film does it in a whole new way. A survivor not knowing who she really is, learning that she was adopted. That her life was *almost* cut off. This makes for a very compelling/moving story. This is of course thanks to the cast, a lot of emotion here, characters that you can truly feel for.

Hannah is the name of the main character, portrayed by Rachel Hendrix. (I honestly thought she was Kristen Stewart for a bit.) She gave a pretty solid performance for the troubled teen. A bit Twilight-esque at some parts near the beginning, but overall a solid, convincing performance. Her 'boyfriend,' Jason, (portrayed by Jason Burkey) was pretty good, their relationship felt fluid throughout the film. Except in the beginning. I say this cause there was another girl. Basically, it wasn't explained fully what was the relationship between her and Jason. Friends? She had something against Hannah, obviously competing for Jason's affection. That very miniature subplot didn't make sense and should have been expanded on. (Or removed altogether, with a few tweaks, it could have been easy to write out.) The film takes a deep turning pint when Hannah finds her biological mother, Cindy. (Portrayed by Shari Rigby.) By far the most convincing and emotional performance, she gets the award for best acting performance in the film. Realstic, almost like it was filmed in real life. During the credits there's a behind the scenes look with her on how she got the role, it's very interesting and I'd like to see more of that in films. The parents of Hannah are portrayed well, especially the dad. It's interesting to really think about the whole thing about not telling her that she was adopted until now.

There are some important and non-important side characters. One of my favorite scenes was the dialogue between Hannah and the nurse that did the failed abortion. Then there's the whole road trip. There's this crazy driver and another two other passenger who gets practically no lines. While this film is dramatic and emotional, it has its fair share of humorous moments. The whole second hotel scene was gathered laughter from the audience. "By now we all wish we had headphones." That's probably one of the humorous lines I've ever heard in a film. The writing is particularly strong, I especially liked the scene in the church with the priest. Probably the most influential dialogue in the whole film.

Overall, October Baby is a film you do not want to miss. The premise is one that is both intriguing and thought-provoking. Viewers may be a bit disappointed that there wasn't much dialogue between Hannah and her biological mother, but it's understandable by the film's end. October Baby, along with Courageous, are inspiring films. October Baby is worth the watch, it may even change your outlook on things.

5 Stars out of 5.

Official synopsis:

"As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before her first lines, she collapses. Countless medical tests all point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to discovering that she was actually adopted . . . after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered, angered and confused, Hannah embarks on a journey with Jason, her oldest friend. In the midst of her incredible journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for her unknown future, Hannah sees that life can be so much more than what you have planned."

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