late night movie musing

*I wrote this last night, but went to bed before I finished it.

I should be sleeping but I just have to make this quick post.  I am watching Away We Go with John Krasinski and Maya Randolph and I’m probably going to bed right after I write this, so don’t ask me about the ending.  Anyways, it’s the story of this couple who are pregnant and they go visiting their friends and family with kids to find out how they can be good parents or something like that.  Anyways, they go visit people in Montreal and their friends have 4 adopted kids and everything looks so happy.  Maya Randolph tells the wife that her getting pregnant was a happy accident.  The wife asks Maya Randolph who is 6 months pregnant  how things are going with her pregnancy.  She then downs her drink and says half heartedly that she’s happy for her.  Then the husband takes them to a strip bar (cause apparently that’s what Montrealers do for fun) and they are stunned to find his wife up there for amateur night.  They thought she was in the bathroom.  And he sits there riveted while she does a slow, sad dance around the pole (with her clothes on) and tells John Krasinski that she had another miscarriage.  Her 5th miscarriage.  He goes on to say that they were selfish and waited til their 30s to have children only to find it difficult; that they watched their babies grow and then fade away; that 14 year olds can have babies without barely trying; and that they didn’t know whether to name or bury their dead babies.  The wife finishes her sad dance, and goes to cuddle in her husband’s arms.

So.  I thought it was incredibly sad for a couple of reasons.  I really liked the husband’s monologue about the pain of not being able to have children, the pain of losing your babies.  I could really feel the wife’s grief/indifference in face of a pregnant belly.  I could even understand that adoption didn’t solve the problem of infertility and loss.  But I kinda felt like they were saying that you can adopt all the kids you want, you’re still going to want to keep trying to have your own child and this women endured 5 miscarriages.

Has anyone seen the movie?  What do you think?  I know there are women who proceed with adoption plans and IVF at the same time.  Do they want to just have more than one kid or is it more like hedging your bets kind of thing?  Would I have done the same thing had it been an option?  Not sure.

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6 thoughts on “late night movie musing

  1. Haven’t seen the movie, and have no opinion to offer on the IVF/adoption question — but I have to wonder, why the strip club scene?? Couldn’t they have conveyed the same information over dinner at home?? Seems sort of gratuitous to me, just from your description.

    • see the comment from Ginger & Lime. I thought the same thing, at first, but I was sure there was a point to it. She didn’t actually take her clothes off and she wasn’t really raunchy or anything. She just seemed lost.

  2. I love love love this movie, even though it is a little unrealistic (they can’t afford to fix the window, but they can afford all that traveling?). The scene you’re talking about is just heartbreaking, and I actually love that they let the husband be the one to reveal the miscarriages. The wife’s dance is so much more expressive than any speech she could have made, and I actually think it’s appropriate that it’s a pole dance–just like with stripping, in telling about the miscarriages they are exposing something very private, that is not often talked about aloud, and certainly not in polite company. It’s not anything she needs to be ashamed of, but she probably is anyway, and I think the parallel with stripping is a really strong commentary on that.

    I just realized I didn’t even come close to answering the question you actually asked–sorry about that. I don’t have a good answer, since it’s a complex question that is probably different for everyone.

  3. I love that film, too. What I loved about that scene was just that it was included, that they told the truth about some of those feelings. And the wife’s performance is amazing – such a small part of the movie, but so powerful and full of grief. I never thought about it in the way that you put it here – that it sends a message that children who were adopted are somehow not enough and that people are still going to want to have a bio child – but I did sort of wonder a bit about it because in the film they have quite a large family – like 4 kids already? – and they are mostly older. I guess I didn’t think about it too much. Maybe because for me, experiencing pregnancy and all that can go along with it was really important – so maybe I understand that desire to get to experience that even after becoming a parent through adoption. I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine how I’d feel, but I know I never was one of the people who felt like it was becoming a parent that was the most important to me and it didn’t matter how I got there – for me, it was really important to get to be pregnant and experience birth and breastfeeding, etc. Of course, I know that I was lucky enough that it worked out that way for me – if I had come to the end of the treatment road and decided to move on to adoption, I know I would have made my peace with it. And by no means am I saying that the physical part of motherhood is essential – absolutely not. Just that it was important for me, in my thinking and planning and decision-making.

    It’s an interesting question, though – how does your own unique IF/loss journey affect those decisions or desires? Of course, there is a lot of other stuff at play, too, like family history and our own upbringings… But anyway, very interesting post.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the whole film and on the end.

  4. that scene sat with me too. it’s been a while to remember exactly how I felt.

    I thought they handled the losses and grief pretty gracefully and respectfully, and I also like that the revelation came from the husband. though a few things made me uneasy — aside from the bit of realism that smacked a little too close to home.

    on one hand, there was a bit of that ‘crazy infertile woman’ doing a pole dance thing, but I do love gingerandlime’s comment about that.

    I think the other thing was I questioned whether they were discounting their children through adoption — i.e., they still didn’t have one of their “own” — which bothered me. but at the same time, maybe it just illustrated how adoption doesn’t solve infertility — i.e., the fact that they had a wonderful family didn’t diminish the losses and grief — and that part I get.

    so at first I think I was torn about *why* it was part of the film, but on reflection I do think it was handled pretty well overall.

  5. I really enjoyed the movie (not to mention I have a dorky crush on John Krasinski). I remember that scene vividly. I also think that they portrayed the pain of infertility and loss very gracefully. That numbness that comes with loss… I guess the reason why she didn’t have any shame in pole dancing. After the heartache, what’s a little stripping?

    I didn’t pursue adoption, but we did consider it very strongly. I don’t know if we would have continued to pursue a pregnancy had we adopted first. I don’t think the movie was suggesting that that was what all people who adopt still long for. But it was very clear that they were still trying. If I remember correctly, that couple had several adopted children…

    Makes me want to see it again.

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