Rightwing Film Geek

The bad “choice”

Peter Chattaway makes some good and valuable points about the role abortion plays (or rather, mostly doesn’t play) in a few recent films about pregnancies, reacting to this (subscriber-only) piece in Canada’s National Post. To speak only of WAITRESS (I have not seen KNOCKED UP, but probably will — I do not go to blockbusters on opening weekend), as Peter puts it:

I think there may be a little more “discussion” in the American films than Knight allows for — and what’s more, I think the films derive some of their power from the fact that they raise the issue and then point beyond it, claiming the thematic high ground as it were. …

[C]onsider Jenna’s declaration that “I respect this little baby’s right to thrive.” If one believes that preborn children have a “right to thrive”, then what is there to discuss? And consider the powerful, transformative effect that the birth of this child has on Jenna — giving her the courage to ditch her abusive husband and the strength to put certain other aspects of her life in order.

I didn’t buy this last plot point at all — it was far too sudden, far too quick and far too total, and thus came off as a twee affectation, i.e., exactly what I didn’t care for in WAITRESS overall. But it was still a very pleasant surprise in an Indiewood film (and one that has found a wide audience, no less¹) that the a-word was raised immediately, only to be dropped instantly and never seriously noted afterward.
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¹ At the other end, I find it amusing that so many see ZOO as some great landmark in cultural degradation, when it hasn’t played on but five screens nationwide, to audiences that are already “degraded,” and grossed about the annual income of a middle-class household.

June 9, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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