(director/writer: John Lee; screenwriters: Ilana Glazer, original story by John Lee, Alissa Nutting; cinematographer: Pawel Pogorzelski; editor: Jon Philpot; music: Lucy Railton/ Yair Elazar Glotman; cast: Ilana Glazer (Lucy), Justin Theroux (Adrian), Gretchen Mol (Nurse Dawn), Pierce Brosnan (Dr. Hindle), Zainab Jah (Grace Singleton), Sophia Bush (Corgan), Josh Hamilton (Greg), Sabina Gadecki (Nurse Rita), Jaygee Macapugay (Mae), Danielle Slavick (Brin), Lucy Walters (Marcy), Kelly AuCoin (Dirk), Nils Lawton (Mihail), Sullivan Jones (Bryon); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producers; Jonathan Wang/John Lee/Ilana Glazer: A24/Hulu; 2021)
“Seems to be not sure of what it wants to say about childbirth.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A wannabe “Rosemary’s Baby” film that turns to the scary side of childbirth and seems to be not sure of what it wants to say about childbirth. It opposes the original film and its controversial, vilified director Roman Polanski, seemingly because the Polish filmmaker has been bounced from this country for raping a minor.
False positive is directed by the noted TV director John Lee (“Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday”), assuredly no Polanski in talent. It’s co-written by him and star Ilana Glazer. Both director and writer previously appeared together in Broad City, Glazer’s groundbreaking Comedy Central sit-com.
The rising star advertising executive Lucy (Ilana Glazer) and her reconstructive surgeon husband Adrian (Justin Theroux), a wealthy Manhattan couple, have been trying to have a baby for the past two years. Because of Adrian’s status as a surgeon, they have pull to by-pass the year long wait-list for fertility cutting edge treatment and are immediately seen by one of the top-ranked obstetricians in the world, Adrian’s former professor, the smug Dr. Hindle (Pierce Brosnan). Though happy after becoming pregnant through artificial insemination, Lucy becomes alarmed when informed she will have triplets and that hubby and Dr. Hindle are making all the pregnancy decisions without consulting her.
Lucy learns that to avert possible complications, she must undergo “selective reduction” that will either destroy her male twins or her single girl. Lucy goes against hubby’s and Hindle’s advice by choosing to keep the less-developed girl over the stronger boys. Furthermore she angers the men by choosing to have a midwife for the delivery, Grace Singleton (Zainab Jah), who rejects the cold modern methods of gynecology.
FP never feels to me as if it delivered the goods on what it wants to reprimand the moderns for or their health system for, as it tepidly updates “Rosemary’s Baby” by awkwardly pointing out women still don’t have absolute control of making decisions over their body functions and this still leads to mental breakdowns.
REVIEWED ON 6/28/2021 GRADE: C+