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Movie review: 'October Baby' delivers message with a sledgehammer

Published April 12, 2012 4:25 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Don't dismiss "October Baby" because it's Christian anti-abortion propaganda (from which 10 percent of the profits, the movie's website vows, will go to "pregnancy crisis centers," adoption charities and the like), but because it's so poorly executed.

Cocooned college girl Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) learns that her lifetime of asthma and seizures can be explained by a secret her creepily protective father (John Schneider) never told her: She's adopted and "the survivor of a failed abortion." Hannah joins her Mardi Gras-bound classmates across the South, seeking her birth mother in Mobile, Ala. — using her sob story as the most effective "get out of jail free" card in movie history.

Along the way, as directing brothers Andrew and Jon Irwin fill up on gorgeous sunset views and oppressive country-rock musical montages, Hannah learns how to forgive and how to interpret her true feelings for her longtime friend Jason (Jason Burkey).

The movie's one sterling moment, a heart-tugging speech by Jasmine Guy as a nurse who witnessed the late-term abortion attempt that Hannah survived, isn't enough too overcome the Irwins' ham-fisted effort to beat the audience over the head with their message.

movies@sltrib.com; nowsaltlake.com/movies —

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'October Baby'

Opens Friday, April 13, at area theaters; rated PG-13 for mature thematic material; 107 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit nowsaltlake.com/movies.