Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Going To The Sperm Bank

Well, I'm not going, but it seems that screenwriters have decided sperm banks are a breeding ground [horrible pun intended] for movies. This week, I've seen two such films. Note: spoiler alerts follow, so consider yourself warned!

The first one I saw was "The Switch." Now, I saw this one for free - it was a sneak screening. While I said earlier this month I would not see this one, I figured not paying for it (and the fact that Jason Bateman co-stars) would be my pass. Let me first say, I am a bit curious of single, straight women who decide to take this path. I might want kids that don't have fur/litter boxes/walk on leashes some day, but taking on child rearing solo? I don't think I could do that. I watch "Teen Mom" and I cringe - not because these kids are SOOO not fit to be parents, but because I see how hard their lives are (reality paycheck aside). When you are a single parent and you want to do it right, you have no choice but to work twice as hard. I'm not just talking about that job that gives you a paycheck every two weeks. I'm talking about being mother and father. Perhaps this is the conservative bit in me speaking, but I really do believe kids need both. I don't believe in sheltering kids from the cold, cruel world. But kids who have just one parent feel like they're missing something - even if that one parent is busting his/her butt to give that kid the world.

So, when I watched this movie (which I knew was a full-fledged romantic comedy), I tried very hard not to roll my eyes at the "I love you as my best guy friend" vibe from Jennifer Aniston's character and the "I love you as much more than my friend and will sabotage your relationships until you feel the same" vibe from Bateman. Then, despite his drunken status, seeing Bateman play with that little container of sperm - ick! So, he spills the container and decides to fill the empty container with his own. Look, I warned you about spoilers AND this is in the trailer - if you didn't know that much about the film, you weren't going to see it anyway. Bateman forgets he does this and it's not until he sees the kid years later that he realizes what happened. The rest of this story is totally predictable.

Lesson from this one: if you're going to have an insemination party, don't leave your donor's goodies where anyone can tamper with them. Also, maybe you should just save us all an hour and a half - or years if it's real life and not a movie - and just make a pact with your slightly neurotic friend to co-parent? PLEASE?

"The Kids Are All Right" was the second spermy film I watched. The story here: two lesbians (played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) each used the sperm from one donor to have a baby. When the kids turn 18, the sperm bank will allow them to make contact with the donor if he (played by Mark Ruffalo) agrees. He does. He likes the kids. The kids like him. All seems well until one of the lesbians takes out her frustration with her partner with the donor.

Lesson: Not all sperm donors are stand-up guys who want to meet the kids that share their DNA. Don't believe it will work out like that.

I totally get the lesbians who are in stable relationships wanting to have a biological child. But I don't understand the average single lady thinking that's an option. It almost seems like giving up on finding someone to love you, so you'll pay for some sperm to have a baby and - POOF! - instant love. I'm probably wrong about that, but because I just can't see that as an option for me (and this is my blog so I'll say what I want to), I don't get it.

But, as you can see, I will watch it on the big screen. It's entertaining. In real life - *no way!

*I reserve the right to change my position.
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