This morning I watched LET’S RUIN IT WITH BABIES, that you can see on Amazon Instant with a prime membership. Watch it, support it!
I’m so excited about movies like this: it tackles a subject so close to my heart and to the subject of my own work, it was written, directed and stars a talented Kestrin Pantera and it seems to be a part of a wave of indie movies (or at least, I hope it’s a wave) that feature empowered women making decisions about their lives and bodies– like OBVIOUS CHILD. Ok, two movies do not a wave make, but I’m optimistic. These are two fun, heartwarming, funny, woman-centered plot driven movies.
I think this movie was effective in conjuring up many sides to the issue of whether or not to have kids from a woman’s perspective. While I’m so happy to see a fun movie about a journey of this sort– I can’t help but think of my own agenda in relation to it. Here we get to see a few white women and one woman of color think these issues through. It’s such a narrowly focused story, you could almost forget that many women don’t have the luxury of choice. This story includes family members, friends, and even a stranger or two who feel like they should impart their wisdom about their own decisions to have children or not onto the main character during her time of emotional ambivalence. Advice comes from everywhere, but there seems to be any judgement, especially not from her charming husband, played by the writer/director/actor’s real-life husband. This ambivalence focuses on the woman’s lack of confidence about her professional decisions (which are not further explicated), and fear of the huge lifestyle changes that starting a family entails.
It would be so nice, in real life, if this decision were only based on resolving emotional ambivalence. I’m most interested in seeing one day is a work that opens up that ambivalence to include more societal pressures– for example, it is never a question whether or not these characters can afford to have children. I was intrigued by the protagonists’s sister’s story arc–she is portrayed as being desperate to have a child but struggles with infertility procedures in her late 30s. She is single but can afford IVF, even if it’s ultimately unsuccessful. It’s ok, she tells her sister over skype. She has a dog and that’s enough.
To open this conversation up, I’d like to share this excellent long form essay about the last abortion clinic in Mississippi from Esquire.
Also some coverage from Slate about Harvard’s study, aptly titled “Where is the Land of Opportunity?” that reveals some depressing information about families in America.
Of course, I can’t expect everything from even the best of movies. You should definitely see it!