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Making Grace (Unrated)

Release Date: July 20th, 2005 (NYC-Two Boots Pioneer Theater) by First Run Features.
Directed by Catherine Gund.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Ann Krsul and Leslie Sullivan’s journey as a lesbian couple who look for a donor so that they both can become mothers.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There are not enough conflicts in this documentary to make it suspenseful in any way. However, it is always engaging because Ann is a very charismatic and lively person—she always over-analyzes and talks a lot. She barely lets Leslie get a chance to talk before she cuts her off mid-sentence. The first half of the documentary is occasionally funny and engaging as they both search for the right donor without even knowing what he looks like. At first, they ask one of their good guy friends, but he ends up needing many months to mull it over until he finally agrees, but by then they already find one at a sperm bank. When Ann finally gets pregnant, everything is pretty routine and uninteresting until she finally gives birth to Grace. After that point, it is much more interesting to watch both mothers manager their work schedule and deal with their family to raise their baby—and keep her alive for at least two weeks, Ann jokes. They both have arguments during this stage, but unfortunately none of them are actually shown. They interviews with Ann’s parents hint at some past problems with Ann’s lifestyle—but they never really say anything interesting about her present lifestyle. The last 20 minutes show Grace growing up until she is one year old—but she is way too young to really understand why she has two mommies.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The most uplifting and insightful moment is when Ann chooses to be honest to her friends and family about her lifestyle, without letting anyone call Leslie just a “best friend”. Also, it is very inspiring to watch Ann and Leslie give up a lot of time and energy to just to raise their child. They are definitely supportive, good-natured parents.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Not enough conflict/suspense.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A somewhat engaging and uplifting documentary that fails to amount to much because there is simply not enough conflict—and too much tell rather than show! It would have been more interesting just to watch the raising of Grace through her adolescence rather than the making of Grace.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (2nd Run)

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