October Baby

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
October Baby Movie Poster Image
Faith-based drama about adoption, abortion, forgiveness.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

For those in the pro-life community, October Baby has positive messages, though it promotes that message in an emotional way that may or may not be appropriate for all families. It also promotes forgiveness, acceptance, honest communication, and learning to trust again after betrayal. Characters find faith-based solutions to their problems.

Positive role models & representations

Hannah is an intelligent, loving young woman who's troubled without knowing why. Viewers take a critical journey with her as she matures, confronts secrets and lies that have had a tumultuous effect on her life, and ultimately forgives those involved. While her friend Jason is supportive, caring, and unselfish, her adoptive parents (a very controlling father and a passive mother) make mistakes and show little respect for their daughter's intelligence or stability. But ultimately, they, too, benefit from introspection and faith.

Violence

One disturbing scene in which a medical nurse graphically describes a late-term abortion that had catastrophic results.

Sex

A clear effort is made to show that the teens involved aren't sexually active. But the story is propelled by an unwed teen pregnancy that led to a late-term abortion years earlier.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

One young man suffers from a hangover and black eye after having had a drink called a "hand grenade." He remembers little except that he was picked up by police for disorderly conduct. The leading character takes prescription drugs for legitimate medical issues.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that October Baby isn't meant for young or sensitive kids. It focuses on very heavy issues that parents are likely to want to discuss with teens who watch: family deception, the would-be grim consequences of a failed late-term abortion, and a young woman's struggle with anger and depression. In a particularly disturbing scene, a witness recalls the graphic details of the abortion attempt. The filmmakers (brothers who wrote, directed, produced, shot, and edited the movie) bring a clear Christian point of view to the material; after a dizzying array of complications, everything is resolved through faith and a devotion to religious values. Despite October Baby's subject matter, there's no sexual activity; there's also no swearing or offensive language, no on-camera drinking or smoking, and no violent action.

User Reviews

Adult Written byBeeSpeaks December 1, 2012

Powerful message of love & forgiveness

This is a real tear-jerker. Have a box of tissue handy! A great film for young adults (not really appropriate for kids under 12) to watch with their parents.... Continue reading
Adult Written bycrashtx1 April 10, 2012

Somewhat uneven but overall good message

The reviewer did a pretty good job. The plot was slow moving and overly complicated, and my wife and I were still trying to sort out some of the flow after the... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 19, 2014

Well-made, heart warming, life changing.

Excellent film--moving and humorous--exceeded all expectations. A must see, like nothing you've ever seen before.
Teen, 17 years old Written byawolf1999 May 9, 2016
i watched this movie a couple of months ago, and just fell in love with it. The fact that it is based on a true story makes the movie better to watch.

What's the story?

When Hannah Lawson (a heartfelt performance by newcomer Rachel Hendrix) unexpectedly collapses, her doctor stuns the 19-year-old with the news that not only is she adopted, but her premature birth was caused by a failed late-term abortion procedure. Her continuing medical problems (epilepsy, asthma, hip impairments) are also asserted to be a result of that early birth. Hannah's parents apologize and try to rationalize their secrecy, but the girl is devastated. She prevails upon her best friend, Jason (the sincere and likeable Jason Burkey), to include her on a spring break road trip to New Orleans with his friends. She hopes that they can stop over in Mobile, Alabama -- the city in which she was born -- to find her birth mother. What follows is Hannah's discovery of more heartbreaking news that her parents kept from her, as well as a series of hurtful encounters -- with Jason's girlfriend, with the nurse who assisted in Hannah's delivery, and with the biological mother who didn't want her. Angry, confused, and frightened, Hannah has to come to terms with her real identity, her parents' betrayal, and a world turned upside-down.

Is it any good?

Earnest and well-meaning, OCTOBER BABY will most likely appeal to a Christian audience that already shares its guiding principles. A warm-hearted romance, good performances, and solid production values are marred by a slow pace, overly literal music choices, and illogical story elements. The plot relies heavily upon coincidence; the tragedies and lies pile up, and as they do, it becomes very hard to suspend disbelief. And the scene in which the delivery nurse (Jasmine Guy) describes the abortion attempt and Hannah's subsequent premature birth seems purposefully shocking (as well as unlikely) in order to drive home a particular point of view. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what different audiences might get out of October Baby. If you're religious, do movies like this one help reaffirm your beliefs or introduce new ones? If you're not religious, what can you learn from them?

  • What are some of the different attitudes in movies and television about teen pregnancy? Why do you think kids are interested in shows like Teen Mom?

  • Talk about honesty between parents and kids. When, if ever, is it OK for parents to lie or keep secrets from their children? Teens: If you've ever been caught lying, how did your parents deal with it?

Movie details

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