Movie Review: Call Jane

In 1968 if you needed to have an abortion – even if it were for life-saving medical reasons – you had to get the operation illegally, very often inside someone’s apartment, or a strip mall with a company that was protected by the Mafia, and by a person who in many cases had no medical degree. In those days, women died or had to be hospitalized with an infection because of the incompetence of the person who had no medical training. Then in 1973 the groundbreaking Roe vs Wade decision was passed, making abortions legal in this country. For almost 50 years women could receive abortions legally and safely. Then on June 22, 2022, Roe vs Wade was overturned after almost 50 years as the law in this country – making the new movie “Call Jane” much more relevant than it would have been if not for the Supreme Court decision this year.

Call Jane stars Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver and Kate Mara about a woman Joy, played by Elizabeth Banks who needed to get an abortion due to a heart problem. Unfortunately, no hospital was allowed to perform any abortions, for any reason, in 1968. So Joy went to a run-down apartment and had her abortion performed by a man who was not even a doctor. This doctor worked for an organization supported by volunteers and funded by the Mafia. Over time Joy becomes more involved with helping other women, eventually learning how to perform an abortion on her own from the man who did her abortion who was not even a doctor. All of this creates some very good scenes between Sigourney Weaver’s character and Banks as the problems – mostly financial and the risks involved became more prevalent as the story unfolds.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this movie are a solid 80% and I agree with this rating for the acting and the importance this movie represents in US History.

Movie Review: The Good House

If any movie about alcoholism is ever going to have any chance of being a quality production, then the story should show the problem of heavy drinking in its full form, but then also show why the person is an alcoholic.

The new movie “The Good House” starring Sigourney Weaver , a local real estate agent, and Kevin Kline as Frank Getchel a local owner of a construction company, define both of these important aspects of alcoholism very well. This solidly constructed screenplay includes a very well-told story about a once very successful real estate agent, Hindy Good on the coast of Massachusetts, who is showing many common ravages of real life. Her business is failing, her husband divorced her because he discovered he is gay after 22 years of marriage, and she is running out of money in her 70s. Other pressures include what people in her small town are saying about her and think about her – that for many people is the most important thing in their lives – their reputation. All of this causes Hindy to drink constantly, to the point where her family and friends conduct an intervention to get her to go to rehab. For a time it appears that Hindy has defeated the problem, and then, like so many, she falls off the wagon and drinks again. She even drinks and drives risking her own life and the lives of others.

There are other very interesting side stories in this drama, including her former friend trying to steal her real estate clients from her. Her assistant is a disaster that she is too kind to fire and a close friend of hers is having an affair with another married man. Ultimately this leads to a satisfying story for the whole 2 hours and a very well constructed ending. This movie also has the highly unusual idea of having the main character narrate part of the movie while looking directly into the camera – that has both good and bad aspects.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this film are a solid 78%, with my rating about 85% and a strong recommendation for the story and the acting of both Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline.