So, this expectant couple are wondering what to do with their life, where to live to raise their child, and so they travel the country, visiting friends and family, trying to find a spot that suits them. What they experience along the way gives them much food for thought as they discover the upsides and downsides of family life. The people they visit are the 'clichés', each a representative of a different attitude and approach to parenting: the jaded mum of tweenagers, thoroughly disconnected from the lives of her children, mostly concerned with her own life. Then the 'continuum' crazy distant 'cousin', who is so swept up with the correctness if her own beliefs that she became excessively judgemental of anything outside. (Though I do love Maggie Gyllenhaal and her performance was brilliant.) This bit did annoy me because I read The Continuum Concept when I was pregnant with the twins and what was presented in the film was a westernised perversion of the ideas, turning them into something that confined and controlled children rather than freeing them. I also hate the way that any kind of 'alternative' ideas about parenting are presented as extremist and kooky by the media. I commented on a blog the other day that was arguing for more 'mean' parenting, that it was the only way to keep your children safe from harm and make them responsible contributing members of society, and I really got someone riled up. Anyway, then we had the lovely college friends with a huge adopted family, whose happiness is blighted by their inability to have their own child, and Bert's brother, who's wife has abandoned him to raise his daughter, and he is left overwhelmed and frightened by the prospect.
In the end of course Bert and Verona find their own path, and a place that is right for them, and you have no doubt that they will make wonderful parents. It was just a warm and content film, safe, about dealing with the uncertainties of life, and how important it is to work at it together. I regret the lack of baby at the end, but perhaps that would have tipped over into the sentimentality which it successfully avoided.