So, as someone who is going through infertility, I often find myself looking for my reflection in art and media. I seek out movies and books about people who’ve gone through or are going through the same thing. And I think I found a great mirror to hold my story up to in this movie. Plus you get the delicious Hugh Laurie to oggle during the the whole movie.
Maybe Baby is labeled as a comedy. And there are a few funny moments. Like when Lucy Bell (Joely Richardson) has to go to the gyno within an hour of having sex in order to see how the sperm are doing in her cervical mucus. So she keeps her thighs shut and rides her Vespa side saddle to her appointment. And, of course, her doctor just happens to be Mr. Bean.
And they try some less than traditional methods to conceive: having sex on lay lines and doing some new age chanting. But eventually all this fun, lighthearted spontaneity fades away as they learn how much it’s really going to take to get pregnant. Of course, this adversely affects Sam Bell’s (Hugh Laurie) libido. And it also affects his work as a television executive. Eventually he decides to write a screenplay about their struggle. And that’s when this movie moves from comedy to heart wrenching.
His wife is horrified at the prospect and forbids him from writing their story. Which he claims to not do but is, of course, writing behind her back. When he has a hard time connecting to the female character, Sam decides to read Lucy’s diary. Once he does this, the studio gets interested thanks to the depth of the female lead. About the same time the couple begins IVF treatments.
At the height of their desperate hope during the two week wait after the IVF, Lucy starts her period. She calls Sam sobbing, but he doesn’t answer the phone because he’s on set helping with the movie. So she decides to go to his office to tell him about the failed cycle. It all falls apart when she walks on the set and sees the scene in which her embryo transfer is being played out in front of her.
The rest of the movie is about their separation and eventual reconciliation. The movie ends ambiguously on the child front. But what I appreciate the most about the movie is the emphasis on the couple’s relationship even more than their struggle to conceive. In the end, what’s most important is the marriage (or other type of bond) two people have that drives them to want to make a baby. And that’s worth preserving even if you can’t create the child on your own.
If I were going to create a ratings system for TCC couple movie watching, I’d have to give this movie five stars. It moved me to tears at points and is worth watching more than once. I’d even give it an extra star for Hugh Laurie being in it. Mmmmmmm Hugh Laurie.
What movies do you like as a TTC’er? Please let me know. I want to watch more if there are more great movies out there. And I’m sure there are.