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“The baby we got was not the one we ordered. We got a dud. A lemon.”
Countries: Canada, UK, Central African Republic
Starring: Colm Feore, Amanda Plummer, Lothaire Bluteau
Eye Candy: Jennifer Tilly, Donna D’Errico, Andie McDowell
Director: Mary McGuckian
Run time: 106 minutes
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
There is one big problem with Inconceivable. And it is big enough to almost entirely ruin what could, otherwise, be a reasonably funny and solid movie. And it’s the filming. And the number of characters. OK, two problems. But they’re BIG. The filming is strange. At first, it’s kind of neat. As a way to open the movie, it works. It’s like a series of snippets that all run on top of each other, so one conversation blends into the next conversation. In that opening scene, Dr. Freeman (Colm Feore) is discussing artificial insemination with a series of patients. Nine patients, to be exact. Which means that we hear him say almost the exact same words, nine different times.
OK to start a movie. But five minutes in, it’s time to stop. And thirty minutes in, it is absolutely infuriating. Every woman Feore is dealing with seems to require equal screen time. So at every step of the way in the film, all nine of them have their thirty seconds on screen, and by the time he repeats the same exact words to the fifth one, I want to dunk my head in a vat of snapping turtles. When the movie was over, I felt the same sense of sweet, sweet relief that I feel when I hold my urine in during a long drive home, then finally and gloriously release it into the toilet bowl. It’s like that. This movie is like urine pressing on your bladder.
It’s too bad, because the movie could have, and should have, been much better than urine. Feore is solid as always, and each of the supporting characters is interesting in their own way. Toward the end of the movie, as we start to learn the stories of the gay couple with the surrogate, the lesbian couple, the mother and daughter in line for a big inheritance, and the weird train wreck of a woman that is Jennifer Tilly, I was far more interested. Again, the structure of the movie isn’t the problem. In fact, the movie is structured really well. It’s the editing that’s awful. It’s like a small child making a mosaic with movie frames instead of Barney stickers.
Do kids still watch Barney? Is that show still on TV? Am I really that old? I bet kids who grew up on Barney are now playing for the Cubs and running for office. I probably am that old. Anyway. The movie centers around the discovery, some time after eight of the nine women, remarkably, get pregnant, that all of their kids look exactly the same. Which would seem to indicate that they all have the same father, even though they brought their own donors with them. They should have eight different fathers. (Now, ideally, it would seem to me that for eight children to look exactly the same, they would need to have both the same father and the same mother. Otherwise, they would likely look maybe a little similar.)
There are some funny performances, like Donna D’Errico as a dumb blonde hippie lesbian and Sarah Stockbridge as the foul-mouthed blonde Trixie. There are some dark performances as well, like Tilly’s desperate, mournful and sad one or Amanda Plummer’s twitchy, painful one. But they are all wasted by the editing and the repetitive nature of every single scene. There is a good movie in here. But the editor sure didn’t find it. I was thinking about calling out the editor in this review, but it occurs to me that it is almost certainly not his fault. Although he has no other credits. It could be someone telling him how to put the movie together, and then it’s that person’s fault. I won’t even call out the director, just in case it isn’t her fault either.
But it’s someone’s fault, and that person should not be involved with movies. Inconceivable came out July 14th from Alliance Films.