This new teen dramedy from Andrew and Jon Erwin (known for Christian rock videos) is a message movie not in the best sense of the term. It would have been more instructive than it thinks it is if it dug deeper into its preconceptions and perhaps would attract more of an audience (finding its way in some art house venues connected to multiplexes) which it will find a way to split up anyway.
October Baby stars Rachel Hendrix, Jason Burkey, John Schneider and Jasmine Guy, and has sparked some discussion considering its faith-based themes. Though probably not for long theatrically as it doesn't do justice to the pro-life activist it's based on - Gianna Jensen.
Its early sections aren't that disagreeable as the main character Hannah, admirably played by attractive brunette Hendrix, is upset about her existence after collapsing while acting on stage. Her late teen insecurity and epileptic and asthmatic conditions happen to exist because she was the result of an unsuccessful late-term abortion.
Hannah's adoptive parents (including hot-tempered, fairly arrogant dad played by Schneider) haven't let her in on this until this latest incident, so it's the right time to go with friends, abetted by longtime one in Jason (Burkey), to locate her biological mother on route to Mobile, Ala. Alas, a sojourn in which other surprises will rear themselves.
For a while the production values seem decent enough along the with the acting on what looks to be an amiable jaunt even if the kids may not be like the ones at your school. The filmmaking "specialists" fail in their attempt to illuminate material which descends rapidly into movie-of-the-week territory, obviously not of the proselytizing ilk as Hannah gets closer to the source of an unwanted pregnancy. The woman who shunned her has built a career as a lawyer.
It's clear what's on the producers' prospectus and it doesn't put adoption in a flattering light, not hitting the kind of nerve in a quandary as seen in the satirical Citizen Ruth or the dramatically potent Vera Drake. The result is a gradually unrefined, protracted attempt to make Hannah overcome the rough hand she's been dealt. One that is more manipulative (which affects the impact of the characterizations) and pat than evenhanded as the preachiness into the politics takes this travelogue into the awful autumn of this "Baby."