Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

No Fooling: It’s Another Baby Movie, And Another April 1, 2010

Filed under: The Childfree Life: Issues and Attitudes — Life Without Baby @ 12:01 am
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Coming soon to a theater near you: Two new baby movies. Oh joy.

The first is The Back-up Plan, starring Jennifer Lopez as a woman who decides to have a baby alone using artificial insemination, conceives twins, and then meets Mr. Wonderful (on the day she conceives, of course.) She then drags the poor guy through the usual array of baby-related gags—throwing up on their romantic date, passing out while watching another woman give birth—and ultimately, as the movie is slated as a romantic comedy, lives happily ever happy. It’s Baby Mama meets Knocked Up, as far as I can tell, and does the world really need to see this again?

Also coming soon is Bébé(s) (Babies), a French documentary about the first year in the lives of four babies from around the world. When I first saw this, I thought how refreshing it would be to see the difference in childbirth and childrearing in various cultures. I thought what a great opportunity it would be to highlight the difference in medical care between a country that schedules births for convenience and one where no medical help is available; to show the contrast between countries where a woman might remortgage her house to have a baby of her own, and one where a woman has no access to birth control and has no choice but to keep having babies she cannot afford to feed. This is a movie that could have a lot to say. But watching the trailer, it seems that this is a movie about how cute babies are, and how siblings squabble whether they’re sitting in designer onesies or naked in the African dirt.

Ah well, I guess life would be dull if every movie was made purely to convey a message. On the other hand, do they all have to be pure sap? And how about a positive movie about a woman who decides not to have children and has a happy and fulfilling life regardless? Perhaps Hollywood thinks that too fantastic a concept.

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