Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reel Thoughts: Baby This Time

Imagine if a lesbian couple could, with the help of science, create a baby on their own, without the aid of male sperm. Alison Reid creates just such a scenario in her first film, The Baby Formula, a funny, often moving look at gay parenting and relationships available on DVD today.

Athena (Angela Vint) and Lilith (Megan Fahlenbach) submit to an experimental procedure that impregnates Angela with an artificial sperm derived from Lilith's stem cells. It’s all recorded by a “documentary” crew led by director Reid herself.

The couple struggles with all sorts of issues, including Lilith secretly getting the lab to impregnate her as well, before the real fun starts.

Then, they tell their parents.


Athena’s mother Wanda (Rosemary Dunsmore, in a fabulous performance), a seemingly closed-minded Christian, can barely tolerate that her daughter is gay, much less trying to “take Immaculate Conception away from our Lord.” Her father is more accepting, although he’s holding something back.

Lilith’s two dads (“Those horrible people,” as Wanda calls them) are more supportive, although Lilith is angry that their sobriety seems fleeting. Jessica Booker, as Grandma Kate, is a complete hoot in what you could call “the Betty White role.”

Vint and Fahlenbach have a marvelous chemistry, and they both were really pregnant during filming. The mockumentary structure serves the story well, and you will be surprised by the emotional places The Baby Formula goes. It’s a labor of love for director Reid.

Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.

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