21 feb. 2013

My Review: October Baby (7/10)

¨I have so many unanswered questions, questions I feel but can’t even begin to speak because there are no words to express them.¨

October Baby is a Christian faith based film about the power of forgiveness. Despite the fact that many consider this to be a pro-life film, the message is rather a different one. It´s not judgmental in any way, and takes a much lighter approach. The film focuses on a teenage girl and her struggle to find answers as to why she feels rejected. October Baby has the classic sermonizing moment near the end of the film that all Christian based moves have, and that may lead people to criticize this film, but it does get a graceful message across without being judgmental. Despite being preachy and melodramatic it has an interesting story and a strong performance from first timer Rachel Hendrix. She is beautiful, talented, and has the looks of a star if she can get over the Kristen Stewart lip biting thing. I don´t tend to criticize movies based on their values, I do it based on the artistic approach and I think this film succeeds as a decent teen romantic drama. Some people may criticize this simply because they don´t agree with its overall message, and others perhaps might find this film a little too amateur for their taste. Despite the clichés there are several funny and touching scenes delivered strongly by this relatively unknown cast. October Baby was co-directed and written by Andrew and Jon Erwin with some beautiful scenes trying to convey their message about the beauty of life. Despite all the melodrama the film does ring true at times considering we all remember how dramatic our life was when we were teenagers and were searching for the meaning of life. There is turmoil and strong emotions going on that now that we are much older and mature know how to deal with it differently.

The film focuses on Hannah (Rachel Hendrix), a nineteen year old girl suffering from seizures and asthma attacks. During a drama performance in school she passes out and awakens in the hospital where the doctors tell her that her illness has to do with her difficult birth. Here she discovers that her parents, Jacob (John Schneider) and Grace (Jennifer Price), aren’t really her birth parents and that she was adopted by them after her young mother had a failed abortion attempt. Hannah is upset that her parents never told her the truth and decides to go on a road trip to see if she can contact her real mother. She enlists the help of her best friend Jason (Jason Burkey) and together with some other classmates they embark on a road trip. Hannah ends up making some revealing discoveries along the way that impact and change her life forever. Could her life have meaning despite all the terrible details about her birth? There is still beauty in the midst of brokenness and the only way to reach it is by letting go and forgiving.

Despite the terrible reviews this film has received from critics it still has a better rottentomato score than most other films in theaters right now (Hansel and Gretel, Identity Theft, Safe Haven, and the new Die Hard film) and it was much cheaper to produce.  Audiences seem to enjoy this film however and I can see why since the message is uplifting. The film does look like a music video at times with the soundtrack paraphrasing the story at times and the beautiful scenery in the background. Chris Sligh has a couple of songs in the film and he also has a supporting role as the driver in the friendly road trip. The film can feel like a Lifetime movie at times, but Rachel Hendrix ´s performance stands out and lifts this movie to a higher ground. Her chemistry with Jason Burkey felt authentic and the romanticism never felt sappy. This is a feel good movie that despite being preachy never feels like if the directors are trying to force their faith on the viewers. They are simply sending out a message about the beauty of life and the power of forgiveness. I honestly enjoyed this movie and would watch it again. This is a family friendly film.


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