CineMathematics or CinemaThematics. Your choice

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sundae Monday

I was struck recently by an article by Ty Burr in the Boston Globe. You can read it here. Though the film eventually turns into a major advertisement for Tony Kaye's fall documentary Lake of Fire, Ty brings up a good point. For all the discussion that has occurred online on Knocked Up's avoidance of abortion, we (and I include myself in that) have completely forgotten that Waitress hardly gives abortion a thought, and apparently Mr. Brooks takes the topic into pro-life territory. I'm assuming that Mr. Brooks got less coverage because, well, do you know anyone who's seen it?

But what about Waitress? When Jenna (Keri Russell) is impregnated by her husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto), we see her misery. She makes "I Don't Want Earl's Baby" pie, but she never really considers abortion. To be fair, her decision is made for her halfway through the film when she tells Earl that he'll be a father. He makes the decision, though the impact on our view isn't so much about her being pregnant as about her entrapment in a loveless (from her perspective) relationship. As in Knocked Up, the female protagonist feels forced into a relationship based on pregnancy. Any hope for Jenna's escape disappear when Earl learns of the baby. The decision is no longer hers. However, her plan never was to have the baby. She hoped to make enough money to go to a pie-making contest so she could start over again, but she always planned on having the baby in her new life.

Now, I don't want to open up a can of worms here (I happen to be pro-choice, but I don't judge people on their views), but the recent discussion has made me wonder: what is it about Knocked Up's lack of abortion that raises discussion that Waitress just doesn't have? Is it because Jenna's from the South? Because Knocked Up is a "sleeper hit" this summer (I would call it a comedy hit, but let's not split hairs)? Because Jenna asserts herself to live her own life with her daughter where Allison succumbs to societal pressure to be in a relationship? I'm not sure. But if Knocked Up is going to get hammered for its views on abortion, then it shouldn't be the only one.

Since it is Sundae Monday, I give you the ultimate political answer to abortion, as presented by candidate Kang, or is that Kodos?

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