Not just in books, movies too. The reason I’m thinking about this — Andres and I watched Baby Mama last week, starring Tina Fey (who I love) and Amy Poehler (who I don’t hate). The movie was funny and offered a lot of laughs; don’t get me wrong.
But it’s been bugging me, and here’s why. The basic plot is this: Tina plays an uptight career woman who ignored her biological clock until she hit 37, and then all of a sudden, she contracts baby madness. She wants a baby and doesn’t care about whether a man comes with it. Fine, I’m on board with that, as far as it goes. She tries to fertilize herself at home with a spermcicle, but it doesn’t work, so she goes to her ob-gyn, who tells her she has an awful T-shaped uterus and her chances of getting knocked up are one in a million. This is why she ends up with a slightly crazy-eyed Sigourney Weaver, who runs a surrogate program. Tina gets matched up with Amy to be her baby mama, and they go to the fertility clinic together, where Amy is implanted with Tina’s baby.
As it turns out, Amy does get knocked up, but not by Tina. She’s sort of a white trash dumbass and she sleeps with her boyfriend after the test comes up negative. So she’s pregnant, just not with Tina’s egg. Amy moves in with Tina under false pretenses and they attend birthing classes together, becoming friends despite their great differences in class, education and overall attitude on life. That’s all fine and good. Amy helps Tina relax. Tina helps Amy realize she’s good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like her.
So what’s the fly in my honey, you might ask? Well, due to relaxing, Tina meets up with Greg Kinnear along the way, and she decides to bang him like a crazy woman. And even though she’s been told she has a one in a million chance of getting pregnant, guess what happens (after she finds out Amy’s bun in the oven isn’t hers?) You got it. Of course, Greg knocks Tina up with his super-sperm. (First of all, Greg Kinnear = ultra-virile? Really??)
This is what bugs me. Infertility is a problem that plagues many, many people. They spend millions of dollars on treatments, in vitro and surrogacy. And yet in movies (and books) the woman who has been unable to get pregnant is knocked up 95% of the time before the thing is done. That bothers me, I think. Sometimes I do want the fantasy and the escape. I want the sweet feel-good syrup that makes reality a little less bitter. But y’know, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want the book or movie to show me that this person can find love, no matter his / her issue might be.
What do you think? Feel free to put your $.02 in the jar.