Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A DI Dad's Movie Review: "And Then Came Love"

no. 391
This past weekend I saw with my wife the new Vanessa Williams movie where her character, Julie, is a choice mom via DI and she tracks the donor down. I don't want to give too much of the plot away ( I have actually done so quite extensively in previous posts about the movie) as I do think it is a movie worth seeing.
There are a few weak points in the donor side of the story (based on my knowledge) but overall I thought it was handled responsibly and put the issue in the public eye with some honest feelings behind it.
Two issues jumped out at me. (1) The donor indicates to Julie when they first meet that while in college he donated his sperm for the money (generally the case) but that he then decided against continuing and that he donated only the one time. From what I know donors who do not continue giving would not be offered generally on the open market. And you would think that the first batch donated would also be lost to testing for diseases etc in addition to various blood tests. (2) When Julie reads the donor profile out loud at one point she mentions the college where the donor was attending. While I know some programs openly market as having donors from XYZ college I still think it is rare and it was a loose end in my mind.
The most interesting donor conception tidbit in the movie I noted was from watching how they portrayed the donor conceived child. I was interested as it became clear that from the child's perspective he obviously was aware that he had no dad but it appeared clear to me that the "disclosure" discussion between mother and son never went farther than it was only "a mommy and son family". Seeing this in person in the NYC playgrounds and then here on screen made it clear to me that even in these households it is hard to easily explain these things and life passes quickly so even parents who intend to disclose and feel it is obvious don't always have the disclosure discussion as early as they would hope. Yes the child was only tops 6 or 7 so even if the mom did tell him the odds are the kid would not get it.
But back to the movie. The casting was great. Seeing Eartha Kitt as Vanessa's mom was perfect. Kevin Daniels as the donor was a good choice.
It is playing through only this Friday in NYC after that in limited run around the country. check out their website for dates, places amd times. [www.andthencamelove.com] As I said overall a cute fun movie while addressing some of the seriousness of the issue. This is not another "Made in America" and is worth seeing.
After the movie there was a short Q&A with Caytha Jentiss the movie's writer / producer and the two leads. At this I thanked herfor her writing and for responsibly putting forward an image of a DI mom and child family.


Gil said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing this one Eric. I'm glad you enjoyed it; regardless of the loose ends. Much love to you and yours.

DI_Dad said...

Some of it coud be seen as contrived but movies that are partially romantic comedies always have that element of girl meets boy, they fall for each other, a fight separates them, and then they come together. And we all accept that premise and enjoy the ride along the way. My regards back to you two.

I have to admit the DI Dads yahoo group has been on semi auto -pilot as I generally change each man's status to onmoderated comments. Hopefully your husband is getting some advice and fellowship from the group.


Bea said...

I remember being introduced to the concept at donor conception at 7 - there was a girl in my class who was donor-conceived to a single mum by choice. I had only just got through the full extent of the birds-and-bees talk.

Anyway, this girl explained it quite well to us classmates, but I did have to get my mum to fill in a few of the blanks. In the end I understood it more or less completely, although the social issues were still too complex.