Film Review: Splendid Photography, Strong Acting Almost Save ‘October Baby’ From Far-Fetched Melodrama

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – When reading the plot synopsis for the film “October Baby,” there were a few things I already expected. “A college freshman’s world is rocked when she learns she is the adopted survivor of an attempted abortion” (IMdb). While this is clearly a recipe for melodrama and emotion, writers Jon Erwin and Cecil Stokes ended up creating a story that is even more unrealistic than I first imagined. Luckily for them, the film is still salvaged by some strong acting performances and some engaging visuals.

Directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin and starring Rachel Hendrix, Jason Burkey, John Schneider, and Jasmine Guy, “October Baby” follows the story of Hannah (Hendrix), a 19 year-old aspiring actress who is shocked to find out that some of her medical issues she has had in her life stem from a traumatic birth she had no idea about. While Hannah had never really felt normal or herself, she was never exactly sure why she felt this way. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Hannah had no idea that she was adopted by her parents, something that would have to come as a shock to a girl at her age.

StarRead Tim Martens’ full review of “October Baby” in our reviews section.

This is only the beginning of plot decisions that made me scratch my head. Maybe it is a possibility that parents might not tell their daughter she was adopted, but it is even harder to believe that this girl would find out she was the survivor of a failed abortion and would, in-turn, go on a journey to find where she was born and who her mother was. And, as you can imagine, the far-fetched nature of her journey does not stop there. For all the bad luck Hannah had at birth and growing up with medical problems, she strikes into about the best luck a person can have on her quest to find who she is. Along with her childhood friend Jason (Burkey), Hannah starts to discover more about her past, even as she is conflicted with her present and her future.

What’s funny is even as the scenarios of the film are incredibly far-fetched, they are also pretty predictable. After realizing that this film is following a pretty fantastic storyline, it becomes all too clear how the story will end up. What’s unfortunate is this film could have really benefitted from a turn away from the likely outcome, but it continues on just as we could expect. By constructing the story this way and bringing about the obvious outcomes, Erwin and Stokes’ story comes off as familiar instead of unique and memorable.

StarContinue reading for Tim Martens’ full “October Baby” review.

“October Baby” stars Rachel Hendrix, Jason Burkey, John Schneider, and Jasmine Guy and was directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin. The film has a runtime of 105 minutes and is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material.

October Baby
October Baby
Photo credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films

HJ Angel's picture

Decent film. Definite

Decent film. Definite pro-life message but that shouldn’t be a problem even if you happen to be pro-choice- this is America! Well worth the price of the ticket. The premise of this movie is strangely similar to a recent novel, ONLY WOMEN BLEED, by L.J. Rivard. The main character in the novel learns on her twenty-first birthday that she survived abortion as an infant. The novel’s main character, Jessica, also was born in October! She goes on a quest to find out the truth about her beginnings, in particular, the woman who aborted her. The book is not preachy at all, like some of the comments I’ve heard about the movie. It’s a good read, written by a lawyer, and so I learned a little something about the state of abortion law in this country as a bonus. ONLY WOMEN BLEED is available on amazon. The similarities between the book and the movie are a little uncanny since the topic is so unique, but I’d recommend both!

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