Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vanessa Williams "And Then Came Love" - Sperm Donor Search Movie (with additional comments)

no. 356

The release date for this movie has been announced as June 1, 2007 (per IMDB) The blog post links to the site of the production company Fox Meadow Films which merely states to expect a Summer release.

Recall that the earlier working titles for this movie were in most recent first order: "Somebody Like You" and "Who Needs 'Em?". My bet was that the first title could be seen as anti-men and that's why it was dropped.

The brief synopsis for this movie per the official website is as follows:

"Julie (mid 40s), a successful Manhattan columnist believes she has it all - a great job, a rent controlled apartment, a boyfriend and best of all, an adorable six-year-old son named Jake.

Her perfect world, however, is rocked when she’s called in for an emergency parent-teacher conference and learns that her son has been acting up, needs to be ‘tested’ and is on the brink of expulsion. Julie places genetic blame on Jake’s father whom she does not know as Jake was conceived through an anonymous donor. Through a private investigator, Julie is able to learn the identity of the donor and meets him. Julie has neither intention nor desire to reveal her identity to him, she simply needs to check her sources, get the facts, and move on."

There is a lot more to the plot which you can read on their site. Obviously this movie is romantic coomedy movie with serious undertones. Until we see it and read the script it is hard to tell if they address the issues of donor conception as more than just a mechanical vehicle to take us from the donor once found to the love interest / father figure for the child created.


When I posted the above text earlier I did not see the trailer posted on the movie site linked through the post title. It looks cute and I apparently mischaracterized the premise as it appears that the mom apparently starts falling for the donor while at the same time a relationship develops between the child and the donor (even though both child and donor don't yet know the reality of their connection). Yes I am probably giving too much of the story away but I am not saying anything that their synopsis doesn't say itself.

What I am concerned about is whether this movie will make kids born into Choice Mom families start saying where is my bio father? Granted in this story the mom is a single heterosexual so the fantasy of the child's mom finding and falling for the donor is possible. Also what message does that send to children born to married mothers (like mine)? Will my kids look for me to be displaced? Probably not but it adds to the fears of DI Dads. And what of kids born into families where the mom may be lesbian and there is no chance of mom falling for dad?

OK, I realize this movie is not meant to answer the really hard questions but you wonder what level of responsibility the writers felt if any to the larger donor conception community. I'd love to interview the them and ask.


Rachel Inbar said...

Sounds too sappy, then again, there's a similar story on my site (that some people asked me to remove) about a traditional surrogate who ended up having a relationship with the bio dad after the mother passed away.

I agree with the issues you've brought up and am curious if those who made the movie put any thought into it.

Unknown said...

Hi---I actually directed this film, and I was fascinated to read your comments. Admittedly, possibly because the film was written and produced by a woman, the point of view is that of the female lead. But we weren't trying to make a typical dumb romantic comedy, despite the fact that that's how it's going to be sold (as a romantic comedy, I mean, not as dumb!) But a key point here is that the woman does NOT seek the donor out in order to have a relationship with him, nor to find a dad for her son; she actually does it for questionable reasons, and later on realizes just how wrong she was. Of course, one thing leads to another and some touching and comic moments follow, including a few romantic ones, but I'd like to think that DI Dads won't have a problem with the picture.

DI_Dad said...

Hey Richard -

Thanks for stopping in. DI Dads are not directly involved in your story line so I am not too concerned for them. I guess my main concerns are mostly for the younger DI conceived kids (pre-teens and younger) that will see the movie and now have raised hopes of finding their bio-dads and that meeting leading to a relationship with their moms.

Caytha Jentis responded to an email from Rachel over at Fertility Stories (see the link below) and also let us know that the DI components of the story were done with care.

As I said earlier I look forward to seeing the movie as it appears to be treated seriously (albeit couched in the romantic dramady genre). Certainly it's a giant leap beyond "Made in America" the old Whoopie Goldberg / Ted Danson flick on the topic.

Again thanks for writing. Any dates yet for a NYC premier?


caytha said...

Hi Eric,

The movie is opening June 15th at the Clearview Chelsea 9 on 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Eager to hear what you think. Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt will be there for opening night Q&A.

DI_Dad said...

Ricahrd, Caytha -

Barring any child related distractions my wife and I plan to be at the 730 showing at the Clearview. We are looking forward to seeing the picture nad staying for the Q&A.

- Eric