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Parents' Guide to


By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Comedy about pregnancy, giving birth; sex, language.

Movie R 2022 105 minutes

A Lot or a Little?

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Parents say: Not yet rated
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Doula's tone changes often, making it difficult to tell if the filmmakers are aiming for satire, comedy, or drama. Are they mocking catchphrases and woke-ness associated with at-home births and healthy pregnancies? Or are they mocking slavish adherence to belief in the "safety, sterility and security" of hospital births? Chris Pine, a producer on the film, plays an upbeat obstetrician, but he's set up as the epitome of narrow-minded establishment birthing. To hammer home his villainy, he refuses to divulge his C-section rate. Plus, he is given comically werewolfish hairy arms. Adding to the confusion, by story's end, he proves helpful.

Sometimes the action seems caught up in mockery. The buffet at a ritual cremation ceremony seems to offer nothing but different preparations of cabbage. The mourners, whose hands are dyed orange, speak of the nothingness of death while wearing wreaths on their heads, surely signaling that the filmmakers' eyeballs are rolling. Certain characters seem manipulative, even malevolent, but later turn wise and caring. Whatever the movie's intentions, one certainty is that Troian Bellisario is utterly convincing as a woman dealing with mood swings, self-doubt, and fears while also displaying courage, self-assurance, and forgiveness. In other words, she's beautifully human.

Movie Details

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