Reproductive Inevitability at the Movies

Grab some a copy of “your womb, his property” and some popcorn.  Two recent movies riff about pregnancy and the themes of adulthood and coming of age.  Both tackle pregnancy much like Agent Smith tackling Neo in the subway.

First we have Knocked Up, in which an unlikely one night stand leads to pregnancy.  The bomb is dropped 8 weeks later.  “Because people who love each other get married and have babies.”  It’s a movie about how “grown-ups” are born.

Next up we have Waitress.  An unhappily married woman who dreams of escape finds inspiration in an unwanted pregnancy.  Wow.
“I seem to be pregnant.”


“Thanks but I’m not so happy about it like everybody else might be.”

Yet Keri’s character still appears quite determined to go through with it.

In both movies, the pregnancy is presented as a fact of life.  It is an unchangeable course on which the women have embarked, and nothing is going to alter that (even though in both cases the ships seem to still be in the harbor.).

Thinking back on Digby’s comments on narratives and how we talk about reproductive choice, the impact of these movies seem to press a little closer to the front of my mind.  Right now the stories we are telling on the silver screen support only one side of a very heated debate.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks. I wasn’t so excited about either of those movies in the first place, but if I end up seeing one of them for some reason, I’ll know to look out for that.

  2. Emily, if you do end up stuck in the theater, there’s always mystery science 3000…

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