Monday, April 1, 2013
Movie Review - October Baby
Today's review is a movie with a message. The subject matter is probably not young child friendly. It is a film that I have wanted to watch for some time, but I was not sure if I was ready for the subject matter. I watched it via Netflix streaming (one of my favorite ways to watch faith-based films).
Brian Gall, Carl Maguire, Chris Sligh, Colleen Trusler, Corey Winston, Don Sandley, Jasmine Guy, Jason Burkey, Jennifer Price, John Schneider, Joy Brunson, Lance E. Nichols, Maria Atchison, Mary Tolley, Rachel Hendrix, Robert Amaya, Rodney Clark, Shari Wiedmann, Tracy Miller
About the film (from Christian Movie Database):
OCTOBER BABY is a coming of age story of a 19 year old freshman named Hannah. Hannah has always felt like an outsider. Something is missing. Although she is an incredible stage actor with a lovable naivety, She has always had a deep seated feeling that she has no right to exist. Because of escalating health and psychological problems her parents reveal to her that she was adopted and was never told because of the shocking and heartbreaking circumstances surrounding her birth.
With her identity and world thrown into turmoil she sets out on a spring break road trip to New Orleans with her best friend Jason, his girlfriend and a host of misfits piled into a decrepit VW minibus. Everyone else is on the ride for good times, but Hannah is determined to use the opportunity to return to the city of her birth and find the answers she craves -
something her overprotective father has forbidden her to do…
All in all I liked this movie, but I really had to work at it. Now, I may be overly picky, but the first hour drove me nuts. I did not like Hannah. Hannah is pretty rocked when she finds out she is adopted. I imagine I would be as well, but considering the circumstances, it is no surprise that they kept it from her. It is not something easily told without an impact that could sway the most well-functioning individual, and Hannah is already going through issues (which are hard to understand when we see a clip of what looks like pretty fun times as a young child and we know she was raised by two loving parents). Why she feels she has no right to exist is kind of a lame label.
The solution to go on a road trip to get some answers made some sense to me, it was the cast of characters along for the very short ride that did not. It was something added into the story that really could have been omitted other than the fact that they probably didn't want us to see Hannah intentionally just take a road trip with her guy best friend. It just did not add to the story in any way that mattered, and really just took away from it for me. Like I said, I was struggling. I was waiting for it to get better.
Jasmine Guy's performance was incredible, John Schneider's was also awesome. I actually started to like the movie more once Jasmine Guy came into the film, but honestly it swept the good right back out quickly when Hannah continued with her bratty moments as well as a few from her friend Jason, as a parent, I wanted to smack him.
In the long run, the pay off was really nice. The finally half hour was great, well acted, and had really good moments. I think the film would have been much better if the beginning and middle were thought out better, and if people paid some attention to how other people really act and talk to one another. There were a lot of moments where I thought, "who has conversations like this?" There were points where it seemed they were trying too hard for comic relief. There were lines that just blew me out of the story like when Jason says to Hannah "Remember when we were like nine?" and she says "When you were nine I was 8 1/2." WHAT? That made no sense. Maybe if he talked about his 9th birthday which still would have not made sense. It was just an addition in the dialogue that bugged me and thus pulled me out of the film.
Anyway, I digress. I liked it, but that is to say, I liked what it was attempting and I liked the last half hour quite a bit. I held off watching it for a while, because a friend of mine who was adopted told me that after seeing it, she was glad she never met her birth mother. That gave me pause as to what I would get.
Lastly the music was wonderful! The soundtrack was extremely well done.
I would rate this three out of five smiles. I liked the message of forgiveness. I enjoyed the performances of several of the actors. Will I watch it again? No. I did not enjoy it enough for that.
Lastly, this is a film that has a Christian pro-life message. Some reviews I have read expressed issues with that. I think because of the very important message it had to convey, they should have worked out the kinks a little more. It is a film that I would share with my son, but I know he would be bored long before he heard the valuable message in this film and felt its impact.