Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, January 12, 2021

Funny. When I went to see Waitress, Knocked Up, and Juno — all in theaters — a common thought entered my head with each viewing: Given the awkward circumstances the pregnancies of each film’s main characters, why didn’t they get abortions?

And I wasn’t the only one, either.

Maybe billionaire Philip Anschutz’s aspirations for conservative-Christian moviegoing fare had taken root with implicitly pro-life messaging in feature films? Alas, it doesn’t appear that Anschutz had a hand in producing any of the above flicks.

Regardless, I realized my pondering didn’t make much sense, because none of the movies would have had much of a plot had the pregnancies been terminated. Indeed, Hollywood’s dive into babymaking follows a tradition of pushing a storytelling device, rather than a political agenda:

In fact, film and TV feature a lot more unlikely pregnancies — would a typical mainstream single Manhattan career gal like Friends’ Rachel Green really have carried that baby to term? — than terminated ones. There’s a reason that the abortions in Maude or Fast Times at Ridgemont High stand out: They were so unusual…

Just as we suspend disbelief about an action hero’s physical abilities in order to script an awesome chase sequence, so too do we suspend disbelief about the likely family-planning decisions of Katherine Heigl’s twentysomething E! reporter (or Meredith Baxter Birney as a fortysomething ex-hippie attorney) in the name of on-screen excitement.

Against this full-terming backdrop, we have to consider its real-life manifestation, in the form of 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy. Based on the Spears family track record in child-rearing, I’d say Hollywood’s more pertinent duty would be to ease off on providing inspiration for ill-equipped mothers-to-be.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 01/12/2021 07:15:07 PM
Category: Celebrity, Movies, Society
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