“October Baby,” a movie with a pro-life message, opened on March 2. Abortion fans trembled.
The A.V. Club, an entertainment website, called the film “propaganda for the already converted.” The Detroit News branded it “indecent propaganda” (decent propaganda would be a pro-abortion movie). The St. Paul Pioneer Press said the flick had “a lesson it wants to smash into our heads” (as opposed to being thoughtfully pro-abortion). But none could match Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times.
Catsoulis said that “at its core” the movie was “like the bloodied placards brandished by demonstrators outside women’s health clinics.” Indeed, it was meant to foster “guilt and fear.” Referring to the moving comments by Jasmine Guy, who plays the role of an abortion assistant, Catsoulis said her remarks are analogous to “a gory portrait of fetal mutilation and maternal distress.” Not only that, but get this: the purpose of Guy’s comments is to “terrify young women—and fits right in with proposed state laws that increasingly turn the screws on a woman’s dominion over her reproductive system.”Then she really went ballistic, saying that despite the movie’s message, “abortion is not a crime, no matter how fervently some people continue to wish that it were.”
All of this in a 319-word movie review! Catsoulis is obviously frustrated that she is not an op-ed writer; this explains why she writes them anyway while supposedly doing movie reviews. In any event, it would be helpful to know why she reacted with such hysteria to a pro-life movie. One thing it did prove: a movie is not just a movie (every time I complain about a Catholic-bashing film I’m told to beg off—it’s just a movie).
The Los Angeles Times’ Gary Goldstein was quite fair when he said the “poignancy is hard to deny whatever side of the abortion debate you fall on.”
Indeed, “October Baby” is one of the most provocative pro-life films of all time. Its limited opening was so successful that more theaters are picking it up this weekend. We are proud to have helped make this film a success.