Miss Conception (2008)

Rated: Rated R for language and some sexual content.
Length: 94 minutes
Grade: D-DBD=D
Budget: No one’s willing to tell.
Box Office: $2,134 no kidding

Written by: Camilla Leslie, with her first (and possibly last) script.
Directed by: Eric Styles, who hasn’t directed anything I’ve ever heard of.
Starring: Heather Graham, Mia Kirshner, Tom Ellis, Will Mellor, and Orlando Seale.

After discovering on a lark trip to a fertility clinic that she only has one egg left in her ovaries, Georgina and her friends craft a plan to get her impregnated before she becomes infertile forever.

Entertainment Value: D-
Okay, I know the box office was silly bad, but I had hopes for a movie about a woman trying to become pregnant starring Heather Graham, who’s great in Scrubs. Wow, were we wrong. First, the premise is idiotic. Second, the entire series of plot events including the ending are predictable from about 20 minutes into the movie. Third, I can’t for the life of me figure out how it would be difficult for Heather Graham to find a guy to have sex with her over the course of four days. I’m just saying there are more believable challenges people might face in a movie. But on top of that, it’s not funny, which is the great defect of any supposed “comedy.” I guess since Blockbuster stocked a lot of copies, I thought I should check it out. I shouldn’t have, and shame on them, too.

Superficial Content: D
Drugs/Alcohol C, Sexuality D, Violence A, Language D, Illegality A.
Okay, the whole movie revolves around the attempt to become pregnant with anyone, so obviously sex scenes are an issue. Although, interestingly, there’s no nudity and…I hope I’m not ruining a too obvious plot here…no sex either. There is one gay character who is prominent in the movie. Language is enough to make it R, but they could surely have kept it PG-13 if they had wanted to do so. As you’d expect, there is some use of alcohol.

Significant Content: B
For all of its flaws, and these are numerous, the one great thing about this movie is that it winds up being very pro-life in one obvious and two unexpected ways. First, naturally the plot is about a woman who doesn’t “just” want sex, but wants a baby. Second, her friend confesses that she had an abortion, and seems to feel great pain and regret about the decision. Third, it’s pro-marriage. Despite all her foolishness, Georgina wants more than anything to marry her boyfriend (whose main flaws is that he doesn’t want kids yet), and in the end winds up doing so before miraculously and inexplicably actually having a baby years after the doctor told her she’d be done. There are also substantial themes here about the role of sacrifice and submission in love here.

Artistic/Thought Value: D
Sorry, lofty morality points won’t cover for terrible plot, dialogue, acting, and overall artistic impression. Even the Brazilian judges couldn’t bring themselves to give this one a passing grade.

Discussion Questions:
~Does this movie wind up being pro-traditional morality? In what ways?
~Which, if any, elements of this plot are most believable to you?
~If you had a friend in Georgina’s situation, what would you advise her to do?
~What does this movie teach you about the difficulty of really creating a funny movie?
~Why was Georgina so attached to Zak? Was she foolish for thinking that all the marriage and baby stuff would work out eventually with him? Why do so many women who want marriage and babies get into relationships with men who don’t? Should you even be dating if you don’t want to get married and have children? How long is a reasonable time limit for such relationships?
~Does marriage domesticate men? How so?
Overall Grade: D
But it is interesting to me to see that so many film seem to be coming out recently that are fundamentally pro-life. So that’s a really encouraging sign.

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