There were a lot of good things about writer and director Alison Reid’s film, “The Baby Formula.” There were also a few confusing things and, unfortunately, one or two disturbing things. But, overall, it was definitely a successful entry into feature films for Reid, whose first short film won the Directors Guild of Canada’s Crystal Award.
Available on DVD March 9, 2010 from Wolfe Video, “The Baby Formula” stars Megan Fahlenbock and Angela Vint (right, with their director) as a married lesbian couple who have managed to impregnate themselves with children that are biological to them both. Far fetched, yes, but the premise definitely draws you in, curious to find out the “how” of it all. Lucky for the main characters, Athena and Lilith, they happen to work at a lab that is having success with an experimental scientific process that makes sperm from female stem cells. For some unexplained reason, over-the-top nerdy (but gay) lab technician Jim decides to help both women become pregnant – something that seems incredibly illegal but also highly risky in terms of the health of the unborn children. Regardless, the journey of two women who are both pregnant at the same time with babies that are biologically linked to them both, begins.
Despite the fact that the pregnancies and the science that created them are very much secretive at this point, there is a documentary film crew chronicling the experience. This allows for commentary from our soon-to-be moms and actually creates many of the film’s funniest moments. The other humorous highs come via Athena’s family – her adorable and supportive grandmother and her homophobic and religious mother. Athena’s father also plays a major role in the story, but definitely not in the comic relief. We won’t spoil this storyline but we will say that it seemed like a very dark and unnecessary turn of events. And speaking of dark and unnecessary, enter Athena’s brother, Larry. It is with great gratitude that we thank Reid for not filming the part of the story that involves Lilith going to disgusting lengths to make her wife’s brother a sperm donor.
The low points aside, “The Baby Formula” definitely had strengths, as well. Again, the grandmother was wonderful. The acting and directing were high quality and the overall story was unique and inspiring. It was nice to escape the realities of same-sex parenting for an hour or so and live in a world where we can make babies with those that we love. For that, we applaud Reid, and we urge the world’s scientists to be more like Jim.
Get your copy of The Baby Formula from Wolfe.