Every Life IS Beautiful

Monday, Lynn and I took some of our Middle School girls to see the movie "October Baby." OK, our small group field trip wasn't supposed to be only for the girls, but that's the way it worked out. And the movie did turn out to be something of a "chick flick" (meaning there were no explosions or car chases). And I have to admit, it did take me a little while to get into the story... after all, there were no explosions or car chases.  But I did get into the story... and I loved it.

The story is about Hannah, a 19 year old college student who after fainting during a theatrical performance learns that her recurring health problems are caused by the difficult circumstances of her birth. She finds out for the first time that she was adopted after a failed abortion attempt by her birth mother. She later finds out that she had a twin brother that died four months after birth because who was too damaged by the botched abortion.  A shocked Hannah goes on a road trip with some friends to try to find out something about her birth mother. It is a movie about love, reconciliation, friendship, and forgiveness. While this is definitely a movie with a point of view ("every life is beautiful"), it is neither preachy nor simplistic. Here's the trailer--

The movie has been skewered pretty severely by many of the secular critics who have reviewed the film. Tom Long of the Detroit News wrote, "October Baby doesn't even meet the standards of decent propaganda. It is, in fact, indecent propaganda." Joe Williams of St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes, "Trafficking in 2-D morality and unlikely to be seen by the unconverted, October Baby would have been better off as a bumper sticker." John Beifuss of the Memphis Commercial Appeal sums up the negative reviews pretty well, "May be somewhat distasteful in subject and dubious in theme, but its presentation is as bright and shiny and polished as the fresh face of its pretty young star, Rachel Hendrix."  In other words, you gotta hate this movie because it suggests that abortion may not be such a good thing.  You gotta hate the movie because it suggests that babies are who are destroyed by abortion and not blobs of tissue.

It is not uncommon for their to be a difference between what critics think about a movie and what movie audiences think.  On the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, only 23% of movie reviewers gave positive reviews, but 89% of the audience that saw the movie were positive about it.  That's a 3% BETTER audience response than that other little movie released last week entitled The Hunger Games.

In a world that elevates acceptance and non-judgment to the level of dogma, there is precious little acceptance or non-judgment for those who are convinced that every life is beautiful... even life which is unwanted by those who caused it to be.