My Feelings on ‘Private Life’ A Netflix Pic

It reminded me of the choices I made about having children

Iris Kirkland
Oct 18, 2018 · 4 min read

“Private Life” popped up on my phone screen. It caught my interest because recently I saw an interview Kathryn Hahn. She explained her role as Rachel a 41-year-old woman trying to start a family with her 47-year-old husband Richard (Paul Giamatti). It was intriguing because both my husband and I are in our forties with no children, and not by choice. But we decided against going on a roller-coster ride to have children by any means necessary.

If I’d been sensitive about having kids, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to see a couple so desperate. Things get a little awkward between them and their family, friends and even strangers. Simple conversations with friends became uncomfortable. Their sister-in-law Cynthia (Molly Shannon) calls them “fertility junkies.” I felt a way when Cynthia told her husband Charlie (John Carroll Lynch) to stop enabling them to pursue a fantasy.

But I watched anyway.

I was in awe of the procedures one can go through to become parents. One moment you can spend 10,000.00 on one procedure thinking the problem is with your eggs. The next time the doctor is telling you to spend another 10,000.00 to fix your husband’s sperm. The other option is adopting a baby from a pregnant young lady who does not want her child. But you have to be careful with that because you can end up cat-fished like the characters in the movie. They learned that the girl was never pregnant but wanted attention. Then there’s the whole process of getting eggs from a young girl.

Their doctor introduced the (younger girl eggs) idea to them around the time they were trying to adopt. But Rachel was against placing someone else’s eggs inside of her, for many reasons, until her husband got on some I-have-to-see-this-to-end trip. With emotions running high, they end up in a cafe staring at their friendly waiter (they knew by name) as a candidate. But eventually they both decided it was weird.

At the same time they were fighting for a family, their niece Sadie (Kayli Carter) was trying to find herself. She asked them can she stay with them until she does. This arrangement becomes a solution to both of their problems, at least they thought. They asked Sadie for her eggs over take-out at their home. Before dinner was over Sadie said yes to helping them create life and giving herself purpose.

The couple didn’t think this through. They didn’t consider the emotional and physical effects this would have on their niece. Or the strain it would add to their extended family.

What seem to be the only saving grace was that they were not blood related. But even with that I kept thinking, “Okay where do you draw the line? There has to be a line. Right?” Perhaps Rachel crossed her line when she considered taking someone else’s eggs. Everything else at this point probably felt like fair game. It was sad.

What I did liked about the movie. Despite watching a happy couple turn miserable, is you can’t walk away from this film and not be sensitive to the childless. Because having children or not, is personal. And it get’s very sensitive when someone can’t have children and they want them.

I also appreciated the comical relief; I don’t think anyone could have digest this film without it. Like when the creepy doctor, Dr. Dordick (Denis O’Hare) tells Rachel her job is to relax and breathe. Meanwhile, a bright light shines down her vagina as he uses a cold speculum to open her up. Oh yeah, and he says, “Let’s get pregnant,” to pro rock playing in the background. “Yeah okay, breath and relaxed,” I said. I felt bad for laughing out loud every time Rachel felt the need to explain that Richard has only one testicle. Damn. It was the way she said it.

I watched the sadness that oozed all over the couple’s life. Especially when they argued about not having sex. They were trying to have a baby so bad that they hadn’t had sex in almost a year. Making babies with no sex? Oh, my God, that must be torture.

I don’t know how realistic the whole story line is, but I am sure it is close to it. At least it is close to my fears of what life would look like if making babies became everything. I can’t deal with my moans and groans once made in love becoming the sounds I make after needle injections and disappointment.

Iris Kirkland

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I am a writer, and all I want to do is create dope stuff that honors Him.

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