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Film Review: ‘Roe v. Wade’ is a One-Sided and Toxic Miscarriage of the Issue

Roe v. Wade

A little over a year ago, Never Rarely Sometimes Always was released. That film, centering on the labyrinth that is procuring an abortion in America for a young girl, tackled the issue with a frank yet sensitive tone. Clearly angry about the situation, filmmaker Eliza Hittman used an emotional yet simple story to impeccably convey her message. A year later, the exact opposite has arrived in Roe v. Wade, an anti-abortion screed that barely qualifies as cinema. Poorly written, indifferently acted, and filmed with the thoughtfulness of a sledgehammer, this would-be true story is among the worst things I’ve had the misfortune of laying my eyes on.

Roe v. Wade wants to be in the same mold as what Pure Flix churns out. While it’s just as bad, it doesn’t even hum with the feeling that it’s made by true believers. Awful flicks like The Case for Christ, God’s Not Dead, and Unplanned are absolute dreck, but they’re made solely to please a specific audience. Quite literally, they’re preaching to the converted. Here, this film wants to claim it’s a more fair and balanced take, and it’s somehow all the worse for it. Clearly, it’s playing dirty pool with the issue of abortion, as well as the landmark Supreme Court case. However, it’s not only a miscarriage of the facts and the issue, it’s just ineptly made, to boot.

Roe v. Wade

Purporting to tell the “true story” of the landmark legal decision, using the story of abortion doctor turned anti-abortion crusader Bernard Nathanson (Nick Loeb) to tie it all together. The co-founder of National Association For The Repeal Of Abortion Laws, he and Lawrence Lader (Jamie Kennedy) made untold amounts of money turning the procedure into a business. Taken to court by evangelists like Mildred Jefferson (Stacey Dash), the initial ruling goes in their favor, setting up a showdown in the Supreme Court, obstensibly over the pregnancy of Norma McCorvey (Summer Joy Campbell), aka Jane Roe.

When the case gets to the highest court in the land, Bernard is still on one side of the coin. It isn’t until after the Justices (played by Corbin Bernsen, Steve Guttenberg, Jon Voight, and others) are shown making all manner of of rationales for their vote that Bernard sees the light. Then, all of a sudden, he’s as clearly on the other side of the issue as anyone. While groups like Planned Parenthood are purported to be monsters, he’s of course someone on the up and up. It’s all so thinly drawn it’s impossible to take seriously, if it weren’t already dubious in its factuality.

Roe v. Wade

The cast is, to be kind, uninspired. Nick Loeb, for some ungodly reason, saw himself as the nominal lead, and he’s easily the worst in show. Anytime you hear his voiceover, you want to beg him for another take. Then, there’s the scene where his central character finally realized the error of his ways. The breakdown will play closer to broad comedy than heartbreaking emotion. The rest of the cast are, at best, bored, clearly involved for the CPAC bragging rights, as opposed to the roles they’re essaying. Whether they’re playing ideologically similar characters or the opposite end of the political spectrum, it’s all phoned in the same. In addition to the cast mentioned above, supporting players include the motley crew of William Forsythe, Greer Grammer, Tomi Lahren, Joey Lawrence, Mike Lindell (yes, the My Pillow nut), and many more.

The filmmaking from Cathy Allyn and Nick Loeb is the biggest problem. The script they penned with Ken Kushner is laughable, while the direction is amateurish. Ironically, despite hammering their points home with a hammer, the lip service they pay to the Pro Choice and Women’s Movements actually come off as the better arguments. Of course they cherry-pick facts and omit what doesn’t work (conveniently forgetting that Jane Roe confessed at the end of her life that her about-face on the issue was something she did for money), but that’s all assumed here. The true sin is that you could make a compelling film about the case. Roe v. Wade doesn’t need to be a conservative or liberal parable. Just make a movie that caters to the complexity of the issue and the arguments on both sides. Allyn and Loeb aren’t interested in that, whatsoever, despite what they may have claimed over the years while getting the flick made.

Roe v. Wade is not just sure to be the worst film of 2021, it’s among the worst films of the past several years. Barely a movie, it’s not even particularly coherent as conservative propaganda. Without question, it fails on every single level. Cinema is tangibly worse for its existence. If I see something worse this year, I’ll truly be despondent about the state of the industry. For now, let’s just pretend this never existed. You certainly never have to see it. Consider this my service to you all. I saw it so you don’t have to.

SCORE: 1/2

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zedcore
1 year ago

Man. I saw the cast on imdb and I really chuckled. Good review.

Colleen Barry
Colleen Barry
1 year ago

What a shocker. Someone who has bought the lie of Abortion dislikes the a movie showing the history of what happened the day’s surrounding the Roe decision. As a female, a preteen at the time, Lucky enough (at the time) to medically learn about Abortion (you know Vacume method, Cutting, scraping, tearing, ripping, Burning is Saline solution, and more). I am very glad a movie is coming out. It was my peers that suffered at the hands of a country suddenly bringing them to abortion businesses $$$$$ (as of recent years big money in selling their body parts), even more confused adults advising confused teens to abort, child molestors having a great way to get ride of the results of their actions. Personally the catastrophe that attacked all coming of Age girls, women has been horrific to Personally see in so many women knowing they can’t bring their unborn child back. Basically the country screwed over my generation and the generations to follow. If you were born after 73 consider yourself a Survivor …Your mother Decided YOU will be able to LIVE. 63 million of your peers didn’t make it. Probably 63 Million inventors, statesmen and women, Educators, problem solvers the world will never get to know. There is a reason for the amount of women dealing with past abortion have healing programs. Not counting most you deal with it alone. PS a Great number of my Prolife friends are POST abortive and spend a great deal of their time trying to warn others. Prayers, LOVE for all that see this movie. MOST Everyone has been personally affected.

I wish every time someone used the word “Abortion” they would bother to state the truth and add this (you know Vacume method, Cutting, scraping, tearing, ripping, Burning is Saline solution, and more).

Robert Hamer
1 year ago

So it’s… probably safe to assume there’s no epilogue about how Norma McCorvey admitted being paid off by right-wing organizations to speak out against abortion rights?

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

That is amazing that you claim to be a critic but you do not even take the time to view a movie before bashing it. This shows that you not only lack the mental fortitude to hear views contrary to your own but are too lazy to even do your “job” and actually watch the movie. I wish there was a way to rate you and have you banned from reviewing movies since you lack the drive to actually watch a movie and the mental maturity to put your political bias to the side long enough to review a movie.

You are just another example of what is wrong with society. To stupid recognize your own biases and too fragile to listen to all sides of an argument. Do the world a favor and go pick up a tool bag and do some manual labor since you lack the mental capacity to form a reasonable thought.

Colleen Barry
Colleen Barry
1 year ago

What a shocker. Someone who has bought the lie of Abortion dislikes
the a movie showing the history of what happened the day’s surrounding
the Roe decision. As a female, a preteen at the time, Lucky enough (at
the time) to medically learn about Abortion (you know Vacume method,
Cutting, scraping, tearing, ripping, Burning is Saline solution, and sometimes partially born then killed). I am very glad a movie is coming out. It was my peers that
suffered at the hands of a country suddenly bringing them to abortion
businesses $$$$$ (as of recent years big money in selling their body
parts), even more confused adults advising confused teens to abort,
child molestors having a great way to get ride of the results of their
actions. Personally the catastrophe that attacked all coming of Age
girls, women has been horrific to Personally see in so many women
knowing they can’t bring their unborn child back. Basically the
country screwed over my generation and the generations to follow. If
you were born after 73 consider yourself a Survivor …Your mother
Decided YOU will be able to LIVE. 63 million of your peers didn’t make
it. Probably 63 Million inventors, statesmen and women, Educators,
problem solvers the world will never get to know. There is a reason
for the amount of women dealing with past abortion have healing
programs. Not counting most you deal with it alone. PS a Great number
of my Prolife friends are POST abortive and spend a great deal of
their time trying to warn others. Prayers, LOVE for all that see this
movie. MOST Everyone has been personally affected.

Dan
Dan
1 year ago

What are your views on abortion?

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

Any one who is pro choice needs to see The Silent Scream.

dooby
dooby
11 months ago

Yeah, a movie about killing babies that isn’t pro-baby killing. How outrageous. You abortion advocates are truly repulsive.

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Written by Joey Magidson

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