Have you seen the movie “October Baby”? If not, I urge you to do so. You will find it a refreshing and encouraging experience. It’s only playing in a limited number of theaters so you may have to search for it. In spite of that, it still made the top 10 box office sales and received many good reviews. So I thought I’d take a chance…
I don’t go to see movies very often. I’ve become somewhat tired of the standard Hollywood fare: Caricature characters, explosions, killings, bathroom humor, sexual innuendo and worse. I don’t need that; I don’t want that.
That’s not to say there are no movies worth watching, that there are no good movies released any more. That would be a false statement. I just don’t need or want to spend my precious money and time filtering through all the junk to find that one jewel; there is too much junk and too little treasure nowadays. So I don’t bother.
I remember going to one of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies about two years ago just after my wife passed. I thought it would be good diversion. After all, it’s a harmless, meaningless cartoon; I always liked Alvin and the Chipmunks; it received acceptable reviews; so why not? Well, I was surprised to find a standard Hollywood love story and sexual innuendo embedded in the movie. In Alvin and the Chipmunks! That was not what I needed, not what I wanted at that moment, not what I had expected. I walked away from that movie more drained and depressed than when I entered. Alvin and the Chipmunks! So I stopped going to all movies, except very special ones.
“October Baby” is one of those very special movies. Perhaps that is because it is not a Hollywood movie: Its pedigree is “Fireproof” and “Courageous”; both were excellent movies. Some people have said it was better than both of them. I’ll leave that to your judgment.
Watching the movie reminded me of reading a classic novel: Well developed characters, serious story line, deeper meanings, and so on. You are immersed in a real world with real people and real issues, and at the end you arrive at real solutions. No gratuitous violence, sex, or foul language. Nevertheless the points were made, and they were done tastefully.
The movie deals with difficult issues: love, forgiveness, adoption, abortion, and faith. It’s the story of an abortion survivor surprised to find out the truth about her past, the road trip she takes with some friends to seek out her birth mother, and the impact that truth has on her and the world around her. It does so gently, respectfully, and realistically. Its impact is greater precisely because it does so tastefully and gently. It doesn’t preach and beat you over the head; it doesn’t offend you and make you uncomfortable. But it does make you think; it does make you examine your heart. Isn’t that what a good story, a good movie, is all about?
I walked away from this movie refreshed, having hope in spite of the heavy subject matter. I had experienced sadness, love, joy, pain, laughter and tears in a matter of a few minutes. I saw myself in some of the characters, and others in some of the characters. For the most part people acted and reacted like people I know. Their decisions and actions were more than base instinct; there was something more to their lives than just making it through the day to the next meal, the next hit, the next sexual conquest. In the end, isn’t that the model we want to see? Isn’t that the model we hope for? Isn’t that the model we are all seeking?
Go see “October Baby.” It’s worth it.