OCTOBER BABY review (Grade: A-)
By Jonathan Decker
Conveying several poignant messages with handsome production values and solid acting, October Baby emerges as an early candidate for the best faith-based film of the year. Tackling the thorny issue of abortion with compassion and intelligence, it tells the story of Hannah, a 19-year old who learns that her various health problems are the result of being born after a failed abortion attempt, prompting a quest to discover where she came from. With the exception of John Schneider (the original Dukes of Hazzard; Smallville) and Jasmine Guy (the Cosby spinoff A Different World), the actors are all relative unknowns, but each of the principals acquits themselves nicely, handling both lighthearted comedy and heavy drama equally well. Newcomer Rachel Hendrix has to portray a variety of complex emotions and does so impressively.
There are few missteps. The catty girlfriend of the male lead is underwritten and thus one-dimensional, weakening whatever suspense a love triangle may have held. A few too many coincidences are necessary to make the story work (unless, of course, these are viewed as the intervention of Divine Providence). These minor flaws don't drag down what is ultimately a powerful story with a redeeming message, namely that every life is precious and that forgiveness and peace are possible through the help and grace of Jesus Christ. This is an uplifting must-see that had the audience I saw it with in tears.
CONTENT OVERVIEW: October Baby is rated PG-13. It has no offensive content, but addresses candidly the heartache that accompanies abortion. A heartbreaking scene finds an ex-nurse describing in detail the pain suffered by an infant fetus. Highly recommended for young teens and up, with strong pro-life and pro-chastity messages, as well as a nice example of interfaith fellowship.
MESSAGES TO DISCUSS: Forgiving others brings us peace. Abortion is a serious, heavy decision that can lead to heartbreak and suffering. A father's love can bring healing.
Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.