Well, there is nothing like throwing myself on a bonfire. Here’s your review of Nick Loeb’s new movie, Roe V Wade.
So given this is a touchy subject and that everyone is so even-keeled these days, I feel I should put my cards on the table in the interests of full disclosure before giving my thoughts.
I am firmly against abortion. My position on this comes not from religion being an atheist, nor do I have any interest in hurting women’s rights. It comes from a very personal and simple decision in my life. I have two adopted children. Had those mothers chosen otherwise, I would not have these two in my life. Being a father does that to a guy.
Still, I also am pretty libertarian and really have concerns about any government overreach in a person’s life. So I’m willing to hear discussions. But, you now know my biases.
Now in the history of Hollywood, there have been plenty of controversial movies that have had a profound effect on people. So I don’t have any issues with conservatives making movies that they believe will change peoples minds. Most of my issues with conservatively made movies are that they suck.
Those cringey Kirk Cameron movies? Oy. I remember An American Carol get made in an attempt to make a humorous take on the news by somewhat roasting Michael Moore. Yeah, sure I agreed with a lot of what they were trying to say, but I wanted to put hot pokers in my eyes than to continue watching. Conservative attempts to try to make art have been shoddy at best.
So even though I may agree with this movie’s message, I was bracing myself for a bad time. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised.
This movie tells the story of how Roe Vs. Wade came to be and the historical events surrounding it. While it does choose one side, it doesn’t take a shot at the other. Many people are portrayed on both sides as grifters, liars, and opportunists. Many on both sides are portrayed as sincere, conflicted, and honorable.
There are a lot of names in this: Jamie Kennedy, Joey Lawrence, John Schneider, Robert Davi, John Voight, Corbin Bernsen, Steve Guttenberg, Stacy Dash, and William Forsythe among others. There’s also a lot of info I wasn’t aware of.
Did Margaret Sanger really start Planned Parenthood for the expressed purpose of abortion of blacks? She definitely didn’t like blacks but there may be some grey area there. Did you know that the staunchest justices against abortion were appointed by Kennedy while those that voted for were Nixon’s? Interesting little tidbits like that.
I really think that one thing that some on the anti-abortion side tried and failed was to keep religion out of it. It’s clear it was the losing argument and I think this film recognizes that. They did a poor job in arguing the case.
The acting is good, though Lawrence needs a little work. The pacing has a few issues, it moves a little too briskly. It sometimes is hard to remember which side they are focusing on because the actors are not standing out as much as I would like. Also, the ending is really clumsy.
A few interesting moments catching interviews with the actual people portrayed in the movie but it all feels a bit tacked on. And weirdly they restage the actual interviews with the actors before cutting to the actual footage. It’s odd.
Nick Loeb plays the main character and he does a great job playing Bernard Nathanson, an abortion doctor in New York who ends up with a huge crisis of conscience later on in life. He later made the movie Silent Scream in 1984. Loeb narrates with some pauses in the video for emphasis.
The bigger names in this all play the various supreme court justices and do a great job. The supporting actors mostly do a good job with some mixed results here and there. Production values are pretty high and it feels like a typical Hollywood period piece.
Whether you are for or against it, I would recommend this movie. It tells a good story with a lot of historical significance. If you’re for abortion, well you should challenge yourself.
There used to be a time when movies made people uncomfortable sometimes and challenged our ideas, sometimes to cement them. It’s easy to watch Schindler’s List and everyone agrees that was bad.
As a movie, does it tell a good story, hold together well, and not make the other side look like cartoon villains? There are one or two occasional moments where maybe they could’ve been a little less on the nose but for the most part, they play it straight and give the argument the respect it deserves.
And good on them for making something that isn’t just the same side we always hear. Competition is a good thing and the dogmatic leftist view of Hollywood has hurt a lot of what gets made these days.
If for no other reason, support of things like this or even of Indie films that have no message to keep the big production houses on their toes is a good thing.
Roe V Wade will be in theaters (if you can find it) on April 2nd.
Read my review on The Falcon And The Winter Soldier.