Movie Review

October Baby

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material.

Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
CONTRIBUTOR

Excellent!
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults Family
Genre:
Christian Drama
Length:
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
2012
USA Release:
March 23, 2012
DVD: September 11, 2012
Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films

adoption in the Bible

When should parents tell a child about their adoption?

abortion

A comment is made in the film about hating the crime, not the criminal.

You have the power to forgive, only in forgiveness can one be free.

Life Before Birth
Have questions about life before birth, or a woman’s choice about pregnancy and abortion? Visit our beautiful on-line presentation. Ask questions; get reliable answers.

Featuring: Rachel Hendrix … Hannah
Jason Burkey … Jason
John SchneiderJacob
Jasmine Guy … Nurse Mary
more »
Director: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Producer: Gravitas Provident Films
more »
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films, Provident Films

“Every life is beautiful.”

19 year old Hannah is in for quite a shock, and it’s going to change her life. After having serious health problems for most of her life, it is revealed to Hannah by her parents that she is adopted. Not only is she adopted, but she is also the result of a failed abortion. This stunning news sets into motion a series of events that leads Hannah on a journey to find her birth mother, as well as herself. Why did this happen to her? Why was this kept from her for so long? Who was her birth mother? These questions are the beginning of Hannah’s emotional and spiritual journey in “October Baby”, a Christian film by brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin. The film is made in the same vein as Sherwood Church films like “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof”. Needless to say, fans of those films will be thrilled with “October Baby” and its wonderful pro-life message.

While “October Baby” is a decidedly Christian film, it is also rated PG-13. This rating is mostly because of the very delicate subject matter of abortion. Also, the film portrays college students on a road trip. While nothing graphic is said or seen, one student references having too much to drink the previous night. That conversation shows clear consequences for his actions. The film is probably not appropriate for younger children, but completely appropriate for anyone who understands and can handle the thematic elements at play.

Technically speaking, “October Baby” showcases several aspects of excellent filmmaking. First and foremost, the film has an excellent feel to it. Even though it is clear that the budget was small, the Erwin brothers make the most of their locale by using more close up shots, which fit well with the intimate subject matter of the film. The lead actors in the film all deliver admirable performances, particularly Rachel Hendrix as Hannah. Hendrix has the difficult job of showcasing a range of emotions that most human beings never experience in a lifetime, and, for the most part, she is successful. John Schneider is perfectly cast as Jacob, Hannah’s father. Also noteworthy is the brief, albeit important, part of Nurse Mary played by Jasmine Guy. Guy is a veteran actor, and gets the most from her limited screen time.

Like many Christian films, “October Baby” is plagued with some issues that are common in movies made with smaller budgets. The supporting cast, while amiable, is clearly in over their heads with a movie of this emotional depth. Former “American Idol” contestant and current Christian musician Chris Sligh plays B-Mac, who is meant for comic relief. While Sligh is a talented musician with a great voice (some of his songs are used in the soundtrack), he is clearly new to acting. The script does not help the green supporting cast, either. The screenwriters try their best to add levity to a very deep, moving picture, but most attempts at humor fall flat. Fortunately, these unsuccessful attempts do not detract from the film’s important, life-changing message.

The message of “October Baby” is made completely clear, and it is one of utmost importance. People matter. Life is sacred. God has given us the precious gift of life, and we should not take it lightly. With this message at its core, the film packs an affecting, earnest, and emotional wallop. No one can argue the sincerity on display, and no one who goes in open-minded will leave unchanged. For this reason, “October Baby” deserves the complete support of Christian audiences around the nation and around the world.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie moved me on so many levels, that I just sat there in stunned silence after the movie. It literally took me 5-10 minutes to compose myself. Back in 1951, my mother was paid to abort me. Thank God she chose to keep me alive. The movie touched so many aspects of my life regarding abortion, that I was mesmerized that so many of the feeling I have felt were displayed in this film. I have always anguished over why my biological father did not want me and felt anger at being lied to about my birth, etc., etc…

The movie was very well acted and expresses forgiveness as God would. As I sat trying to compose myself at the end of the movie, I was watching the credits and there was a story of one of the actresses in the film that just blew me away. This movie was meant to be made and should be promoted by everyone who sees it. This movie dredged up so many painful memories for me, but also gave me so much divine healing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—John Rubio, age 60 (USA)
Positive—Wonderful movie! A poignant film about the beauty of life, love and forgiveness. Its rating of PG-13 is because of the situation that the main character’s biological mother was in. It could be rated PG. There was nothing offensive about this movie. “October Baby” is a film that everyone should see. It shows how important and beautiful life is.…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Paulina, age 18 (USA)
Positive—Go see this movie!! It is NOT for younger kids, as the rating states. Teenagers, especially, need to see this movie. It truthfully touches every emotion and consequence caused by abortion, but also shows God’s grace to every person involved. You really don’t want to miss it!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Melinda, age 45 (USA)
Positive—A touching movie with beautiful cinematography and a lead actress who is quite wonderful, I was actually impressed by “October Baby.” While it does contain some marks of a low budget and inexperienced story-telling (a plot in need of tightening, some poor acting by ancillary characters, occasional stilted dialog, etc.), overall, the result was much better than I was expecting. It was definitely worth seeing in the theater. I truly hope lives are saved and changed by the film, and that people who view it explore the woman who inspired the story, Gianna Jessen.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Sarah C., age 21 (USA)
Positive—My husband and I were privileged to attend a preview of “October Baby.” It is a movie about a young lady who discovers she is adopted but because of a failed abortion. It has several twists and turns and keeps you interested. It has a prolife message that doesn’t smack you in the face but stops and make you think! I think that a lot of people will go to the movie and have a lot to think about afterward.

It really focuses on forgiveness which is so important when you talk about the subject of abortion. There are many women out there that are suffering after an abortion and need to know that Christ can wipe that scar away and make you brand new. Hopefully, more people will decide to keep their babies or adopt them to couples that would love to have or add another child to their family. What an impact this movie could have—Go See It!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Bonnie, age 49 (USA)
Positive—This is a wonderful movie with so many touching moments and surprises. As a 50-something year old, and having grown up with John Schneider, I loved seeing his superb performance, in particular. Rachel Hendrix was amazing, no other way to say it. Since I didn’t recognize her from other movies, I never once found myself thinking of her as anyone other than Hannah, the character she played.

All of the main review’s comments about the attempts at humor falling short are true, but it doesn’t matter. This is truly a great film. Biblically it seems to say that forgiveness is incredibly important and that we should forgive because we were forgiven. But it never says anything about being saved or that it is God who has elected us to be forgiven. I suppose this is done to make the truth available to the broadest possible audience without making it an evangelistic movie.

Take your church group. The Erwin Brothers have made a great film. And wait for the credits. “Nuf said.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Blaine, age 51 (USA)
Positive—This movie has the potential to do for abortion what the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” did for slavery. It exposes the stark ugliness of abortion while advocating forgiveness. It also shows that Christian young adults can be in a dating relationship that is fresh and fun, but also wholesome and nonsexual.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ben Stephenson, age 43 (USA)
Positive—This is an excellent movie. An important lost art of forgiveness is brought back. The reality of abortion is gently but openly addressed in a non offensive way. I urge everyone to see this one—with your age appropriate children and talk about this subject.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Donna, age 45 (USA)
Positive—I liked the movie for the message it presents about forgiving when someone does something wrong to you. Especially after the rejection she received from her mother when she saw her for the very first time. The only two things I did not like was the scene at the hotel when the girl insinuated that she can get wild sometimes, while talking to Jason. It’s like trying to produce a reaction on him. And the second was the scene at the Catholic church. While some may disagree with me, it can send a message that you can also get answers from a priest (I don’t have any doubts that they can also say things about the Bible and give good answers) and that you may find answers when their doctrine is so against what the Bible says about Mary and other ways of salvation, like infant baptism to mention a couple of them. Other than that, it was a very touching movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ozzie Barletta, age 54 (USA)
Positive—Decent film. Definite pro-life message, but that shouldn’t be a problem, even if you lean toward pro-choice—this is America! Well worth the price of the ticket. The premise of this movie is strangely similar to a recent novel, ONLY WOMEN BLEED by L.J. Rivard. The main character in the novel learns on her twenty-first birthday that she survived abortion as an infant. The novel’s main character, Jessica, also was born in October! She goes on a quest to find out the truth about her beginnings, in particular, the woman who aborted her. The book is not preachy at all, like some of the comments I’ve heard about the movie. It’s a good read, written by a lawyer, and so I learned a little something about the state of abortion law in this country, as a bonus. ONLY WOMEN BLEED is available on Amazon. The similarities between the book and the movie are a little uncanny, since the topic is so unique, but I’d recommend both!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—HJ Angel, age 44 (USA)
Positive—I loved this movie! As a woman who had two abortions, it was difficult to watch, for me. I saw this movie with my oldest daughter, her husband and my husband. It is difficult to hold back flowing tears in a movie theater. It hurt my head. So many emotions for me, did I have twins? What would be different in my life now? When she talks about losing a brother to abortion, I know my daughter was thinking something similar. Both my daughter and I cried buckets. I did not come to know the Lord until I was 30. I asked for forgiveness at that time, but it did not seem to help. It was not until I was 45 that I asked Jesus to allow me to forgive myself, was I able to be released from my prison.

I cannot recommend this movie enough. I am happy to say that my first child is an abstinence counselor in the public schools. Please go see this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality:
—Jeri, age 54 (USA)
Positive—This was the most heart touching movie I have ever seen. Make sure you have tissues when you see this movie, because I cried 3x. Hannah, is a girl who suffers, but doesn’t know why. Until after her blackout and goes to the doctor to hear news of a medication, she hears news from her parents that she was adopted and later learns she was a victim of a failed abortion. The Christian words from what the officer said in this movie was “Love the criminal, hate the crime,” just like love the sinner, hate the sin. I could spill the whole details, but I rather someone find out for themselves how the movie is like. There were no swear words or God’s name. No kissing or impurity, just clean. This movie should be rated PG and is for all ages, in my opinion.

At the end of the film, the audience cheered. I would definitely watch this movie again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Anna, age 19 (USA)
Positive—“October Baby” is a movie worth seeing and, better still, worth discussing, especially with teens or anyone who has issues with abortion, adoption or anger/resentment. That leaves very few of us out. I do wish, though, that there would have been some slight nod to the truth that, while deciding to forgive is an act of an instant, the outworking of the associated feelings can take a very long time.

The acting in the main characters was outstanding, which only served to highlight the flat performances of the supporting characters. Some of the blame for that, though, falls on the poorly written script. While the subject matter alone is thought-provoking, the awkward script and convenient plot devices lessen the impact. The supporting characters seem to have been thrown in just to follow some moviemaking script. Stir in one witchy girlfriend, one oddball, one smart alec. Then add just a touch of sympathetic-mom. Add a pinch of obvious “humor” and several clichés. Blend all with a generous amount of convenient plot devices (making sure to avoid back-story) and a minimum of rising tension. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Wendy, age 47 (USA)
Positive—I have seen “October Baby” in theaters twice, and it really touched me both times. Shows how one young girl shockingly finds out how her life began (and almost ended), and how she is able to come to terms and forgive her birthmother for trying to abort her. Make sure you stay for the interview at the very end of the movie.

A little confused about the sex/nudity being considered “mild” by Christian Answers. I don’t remember ANY sort of sexual scenes and def. NO nudity. I took my 9 year old daughter to see it and found nothing objectionable except for the teens going on a trip together and the one guy getting drunk and into a fight (it doesn’t show that part, just the result of it~ a black eye). I was pleased at how the boy respected Hannah so much and there was NO inappropriate scenes which you might expect from a movie with teen actors.

This was along the lines of “Courageous” and “Fireproof.” I thought the actors all did a great job and didn’t seem low budget at all. I’m so glad faith based films are coming out more and more now. The movie is loosely based on Gianna Jessen’s story of a failed abortion. Google her, wonderful testimony!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chastidy, age 38 (USA)
Positive—A must see. Will make you think. Great Christian movie
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Paul, age 55 (Canada)
Positive—Took me totally by surprise! I loved it. Some of the comedy relief scenes were a little corny, but the rest of the acting was fantastic. Would love to work with these Christian directors. Not a movie for little kids, but for 6th grade and above a great movie. Rent it, buy it, just a great movie. I liked it even better then “Courageous.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jeff, age 39 (USA)
Positive—This was a great movie! Christian filmmakers need to look at this one as an example of what a small budget can do. None of the acting made me cringe, and the drama was realistic and did not make me roll my eyes, even once. The main actress gave an especially good performance.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Kadie Jo, age 20 (USA)
Positive—Just had a question about the last scene of the movie. When the birth mother received a baby in the hospital, am I mistaken that the man she hugged was the policeman Hannah got the information about the nurse from? That would be understandable if he knew the nurse’s whereabouts. Other than that, I think I was able to put all the pieces together. I loved the movie, and appreciate that it deeply touched the reality of emotions of the abortion issue.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Helen, age 69 (USA)
Negative
Negative—The movie “October Baby” captured the power of forgiveness as seen extended by the adoptee Hannah, even in the face of cruel rejection by her birth mother. While the theme of forgiveness in the movie is very positive, there are some extremely serious problem with the movie. In the movie, Hannah discovering that she is adopted, feels compelled to find herself by exploring the circumstances of her birth and finding her birth mother. Most adoptees feel the deep loss of a missing past and desire to find those missing pieces. This movie, gave a strong message that finding those missing pieces is critical for finding an adoptee’s identity. It gives a dangerous message to already hurting and confused adoptees and fuels a thirst for their birth family search, at all cost. Further, with international adoptions or “closed” adoptions, such an obsession can lead an adoptee to total despair and depression.

As Christians, our identity should only be found only in Christ. People face all kinds of losses in life, but the playing field becomes even in Jesus—anyone can find ultimate value, irrespective of background, suffering or loss by becoming the Adopted Son or Daughter of God.

Second, Hannah stated that her adoptive parents were not her “real” parents, but her Birth Mother was her “real” mother. The birth mother must be valued, forgiven and loved, but it is important to remember that it is the adoptive parents who cared day and night for the child through all the ups and downs of life, often making costly sacrifices. Adoptees should be taught to account for that. Often, the absentee parent is glorified, while the one who has actually demonstrated genuine love is demonized! Addressing them as “Birth Parents” and “Adoptive Parents” is okay, anything else undermines their value and their sacrifices.

Additionally, in this movie, Hannah’s adoptive mother is shown as distant and silent—the opposite of reality! As a case in point, in the movie Hannah was home-schooled, while her father had a successful practice as a doctor. Yet, the movie spends a lot of time on the relationship between Hannah with her adoptive father, and almost ignores her adoptive mother, who had lovingly been “in the trenches” with her throughout her life.

Finally, Hannah’s closest confidant is a young man who is also dating a different girl. This is not advisable from a Christian perspective, due to the emotional and spiritual ties that form in such relationships. She then finds herself traveling alone across the country with him, when she was in a very vulnerable state. Although the movie makes it clear that their interaction during the entire trip was chaste, that is extremely unrealistic and can give a false picture to confused adoptees (or even to any Christian young person). The story-line should have shown Hannah going to look for clues to her past with the help and guidance of her adoptive parents, who loved her dearly. Why was her adoptive mother not even involved during the second trip that she went on with her adoptive father, to extend forgiveness to her birth mother?

In conclusion, many of the themes in the movie appear to be against our Christian faith and values. It seems to promote the existing “me-centeredness” and entitlement that already exists in modern generations. Today, many adoptees struggle with identity, so they feel entitled to control in the midst of all the chaos and confusion—real life often does not end with the portrayed happily ever after! But Jesus does promise His love, peace and joy even in the midst of that chaos! It is in these areas that the producers failed miserably. I would not recommend “October Baby.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Peter, age 47 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—This was a really good movie! I liked it so much that after the movie was over, I wanted to tell the people that came out of theater room that was playing “The Hunger Games” (both movies ended around the same time), how good it was, and that they should go see it. There was even a bit of romance in it, at the end, but nothing dirty. It was also touching, and very pro-life. I would definitely recommend this movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Rosey, age 16 (USA)
Positive—“‎October Baby” is such a beautiful movie that left me awestruck. I drove over fifty miles to go see it at the closest theater, and it was definitely well worth the drive. I’m so glad I chose to watch “October Baby” opening night with my dad, instead of “The Hunger Games” with my friends. This movie has left a lasting impression on me that will never be forgotten or faded. Thank you to all who made this wonderful movie possible.

Now for the “critiquing” part… The reviewer was very accurate with the summary of the movie. The main character, Hannah, did a spectacular job portraying all the emotions a nineteen year old college student would feel, and the best friend, Jason, was wonderful as well. As for the humor in the movie, to add for comic relief, I totally disagree with the reviewer here, because I laughed several times, along with the rest of the (sold out) theater, consisting of mostly elderly couples and friends.

There were a few teens I noticed as well, and I could make out some younger giggling throughout the movie also. The comedy scattered in the movie was just the perfect amount to keep the viewer entertained, but to also get the message across. Being the fifteen year old female teenager I am, I usually enjoy the chick flicks where the guy wants the girl, or the girl wants the guy, and there’s some complication of some sort but in the end they get together.

This movie had a love story intertwined in the whole movie, but there was nothing “lovey” about it. Two best friends realize they love each other, and the guy, Jason, realized he’s in an awful relationship with someone who doesn’t love him. Hannah’s father’s character was just as believable as well. Not only was the acting great, but the message and the cinematography was great as well! This movie was simply realistic, beautiful, and spectacular, and a MUST SEE for all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tiffannie S, age 15 (USA)
Positive—I thought “October Baby” was an amazing film. Hannah, even though she is upset that her parents didn’t tell her she was adopted, she eventually forgave them. This film showcases forgiveness in a beautiful way—and that abortion is never the right answer. Jason was an amazing character, showing all girls what they want in a guy, and showing guys a great model for life. I strongly recommend this film to anyone who loves touching movies (just don’t forget the tissues!)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sarah, age 12 (USA)

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