Actor Ben Stiller is known for playing the funny man in many of his movies, but his recent movie leaves little to laugh about. Stiller stars in the movie “Greenberg” with Greta Gerwig, whose character gets an abortion after discovering she has an unwanted pregnancy. The problem with the film, however, is that the abortion is portrayed as no big deal.
On April 12, Daily Beast's Stephen Farber approvingly wrote, “When she learns that she is pregnant as a result of a relationship that ended more than a month earlier, she decides to go to the hospital for an abortion, and she returns home without experiencing much pain or guilt.”
The skewed portrayal of Gerwig's character is far from the truth. According to the National Right to Life, women who get abortions suffer from depression, hemorrhages, sterility, infections, and even death. Suicides can also occur afterwards.
But “Greenberg” ignored all the consequences of abortions. Interestingly enough, the word “abortion” is never even said in the movie. Gerwig simply stated that she was going for a “D and C.” Farber wrote that that – coupled with the fact that the movie is only showing in larger cities now – is why “Greenberg” hasn't generated much controversy.
That and the utter neglect shown by the media. Reviews and write ups from Time's Mary Pols, Rolling Stone's Peter Travers, The Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey and The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday never mention the abortion. Perhaps the film critics knew Americans aren't comfortable with such a nonchalant abortion happening.
Farber, however, applauded one of “Greenberg's” filmmakers, Jennifer Jason Leigh, for bringing abortion to the movie screen. She worked on another film, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” in which a woman obtained an abortion after an unexpected pregnancy. Farber gushed, “It's encouraging that in cautious times, a few filmmakers are again willing to confront this highly charged theme and take the flak that comes their way.”
He also quoted Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote “Dirty Dancing.” In the movie, actress Cynthia Rhodes' character became pregnant and sought an abortion. The movie was supposed to take place in 1963, when abortion is illegal. Bergstein told Farber, “'We thought Roe v. Wade was going to be overturned,' and that was one reason she wanted to include a subplot about abortion.”
Bergstein is disappointed films haven't kept up her practice of writing in pro-abortion propaganda. “What movies are saying now is that if you are of fine moral fiber, you make the opposite decision and decide to have the baby. And everything turns out beautifully. The girls never end up in a shelter, as girls in real life often do.”
Funny, because in the hit “Juno,” the character gave her baby up for adoption.