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Movie review: ‘October Baby’ delivers message with a sledgehammer

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Jason Burkey (left) and Rachel Hendrix star in the drama "October Baby."

By Sean P. Means

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Apr 12 2012 03:30PM
Updated Apr 12, 2012 04:45PM

Don’t dismiss "October Baby" because it’s Christian anti-abortion propaganda (from which 10 percent of the profits, the movie’s website vows, will go to "pregnancy crisis centers," adoption charities and the like), but because it’s so poorly executed.

Cocooned college girl Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) learns that her lifetime of asthma and seizures can be explained by a secret her creepily protective father (John Schneider) never told her: She’s adopted and "the survivor of a failed abortion." Hannah joins her Mardi Gras-bound classmates across the South, seeking her birth mother in Mobile, Ala. — using her sob story as the most effective "get out of jail free" card in movie history.

Along the way, as directing brothers Andrew and Jon Irwin fill up on gorgeous sunset views and oppressive country-rock musical montages, Hannah learns how to forgive and how to interpret her true feelings for her longtime friend Jason (Jason Burkey).

The movie’s one sterling moment, a heart-tugging speech by Jasmine Guy as a nurse who witnessed the late-term abortion attempt that Hannah survived, isn’t enough too overcome the Irwins’ ham-fisted effort to beat the audience over the head with their message.

movies@sltrib.com; nowsaltlake.com/movies

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