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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mom At Sixteen

This Lifetime film is actually one of the better ones. We meet Jacey, (Danielle Panabaker) a teenager who has just moved to a new town with her mother and two siblings. In a world of teenage promiscuity Jacey seems strangely subdued. Something is eating at her which the school guidance counselor (played by Ally McBeal's Jane Krakowski notices right away. A major subplot of this movie is the counselor's desire to have children of her own.

We learn rather quickly that Jacey's brother Charlie is in reality her son. Her mother is pretending that he is her son in order to save Jacey from the shame of being a teenage mother. Jacey is miserable however as she feels she has the right to decide what to do with her own child. Her mother is so overbearing she wouldn't even let Jacey tell her boyfriend/baby daddy about Charlie.

This movie shows a very honest and enlightening potrayel of teenagers sexuality and the way that they feel about it. It doesn't wrap the movie up in a happy bow, it shows just how hard it is to be a teenage mom in a world where people look down and don't respect you. Panabaker is believable as the main character and truly gives her all to the role. The ending is sweet and will make tears well up in your eyes, at least mine did.

Highlight below for spoiler
My chief complaint has to do with the end of the film. Jacey ends up handing the baby over to her counselor to raise. We see them four years later and since then the counselor has given birth to a child of her own. This is a theme common used in the media, the mother struggles to conceive adopts a child then miraculously has a biological child soon after. I think this is kind of insulting to the infertile mothers out there who won't have that miracle baby. Would it really be so wrong to have an infertile mother adopt and happily raise those children with no regrets about not having them biologically?