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Rated 3.05 stars
by 22 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Baby Obsession
by Betty Jo Tucker

Private Life exposes the trials and tribulations facing a married couple who desperately want a baby. Although the movie evokes some laughter, we can’t help feeling blue about what Rachel and Richard put themselves through while trying to have a child. Fine actors Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti draw us into their characters’ world of infertility suffering and hold us hostage throughout the film's entire running time. They are that convincing!

Playing Richard’s brother and his wife, John Carroll Lynch and Molly Shannon also turn in realistic performances. Plus, Kayli Carter charms us completely as a young college drop-out who tries to be helpful.

Rachel, a writer, decided to put off having a family until later because of her professional goals. Richard, who runs a theater company and sells pickles, went along with this decision. But now they are both in their forties and time is running out. Neither one of them could foresee how their lives might change as a result of the medical procedures they would have to endure.

Now each day has become a series of shots, pills, doctor visits, and disappointments. Financing also causes problems. Will Richard’s brother come to the rescue with a large loan?     

Getting pregnant is a maybe.

for some folks who want a baby.

Private Life shows one sad case.

A man and wife, no time to waste.


They’ve tried hard and become a mess.

In VitroF? With no success.

Adoption? Yes, a failure too.

An egg donor? Perhaps, but who?


Performances earn kudos here.

And yet this film seems hard to cheer.

Still, public service it presents

about how not to be parents.

Private Life shows how two sane adults can become so baby obsessed they lose the ability to be reasonable. Rachel and Richard were obviously amusing, thoughtful, intelligent, caring people before the baby project took over their lives. Richard realizes this before it dawns on Rachel. Will they ever be able to have a child and/or survive as a couple?

One of the highlights in Private Life takes place during a big family Thanksgiving dinner scene when a surprising announcement is made that upsets everyone, probably even some viewers like me. It’s very exciting and yet unsettling. Of course, I can’t reveal more than this, dear readers.   

My major complaint about the movie involves its unsatisfactory ending. Just think No Country for Old Men and you’ll know what I mean.         

(Released by Netflix and rated “R” for strong sexual content, some graphic nudity and language.) 

For more information about Private Life, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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