March 23, 2012 by staff
October Baby, You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so the saying goes. The makers of “October Baby” wisely took that saying to heart. There are few issues more bitterly divisive than abortion, and “October Baby” is a faith-based movie that resides staunchly in the pro-life camp. Yet directors Andrew and Jon Erwin, who also contributed to the story, rarely let their film get didactic.
A screed might have made for a more interesting movie — “October Baby” isn’t exactly an edge-of-your-seat experience — but I’m not sure it would have made it a better one. Still, there are a few straight-ahead religious lessons, a few over-the-top treacly scenes.
Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) is a college freshman who’s about to take the stage in her first-ever dramatic production. She’s nervous, but clearly there is something else going on. Soon after the play starts, she faints. Her doctor father, Jacob (John Schneider), rushes to help her. She’s hospitalized for observation, and we learn that she has had health issues all her life.
Then the bombshell drops. Jacob has looked at Hannah’s diaries and learned that she has had suicidal thoughts. With the help of the family doctor, he explains to his daughter that she was adopted — and that she’s the survivor of an attempted abortion. Hannah immediately feels betrayed, angry and confused. Her friend Jason (Jason Burkey) is planning a spring-break road trip with friends and invites Hannah along for the ride. She accepts, hoping to find her birth mother on the trip.
From there, the film falls back on familiar college road-trip tropes, although as chaste a version of them as you can possibly imagine. Jason and Hannah split from the group — and from Jason’s suspicious girlfriend — and begin the search for Hannah’s mother in earnest. These are the best and most believable scenes in the film. After a couple of major coincidences, Hannah gets close to completing her mission.
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