Talk about teen trauma. In “October Baby,” a 19-year-old girl learns that she was not only an adopted premature infant, but she is the survivor of a botched abortion. That explains why she is asthmatic, epileptic and suicidal.
The ugly revelation is revealed to Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) after she has a seizure on-stage during a high school play. Horrified that her adoptive parents (John Schneider and Jennifer Price) hid the truth from her, she hooks up with some classmates in an old VW microbus to find her biological mother.
Directed by brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin, “October Baby” is weakest when it tries to be a wacky teen road trip movie and strongest when it digs into the deep psychological pain of being someone whose mother really didn’t want you to exist … and still doesn’t. Hannah meets this rejection head-on when she confronts her birth mom, now a successful lawyer in total denial about a past and a person she thought she’d erased. A key moment is when Rachel talks with a nurse (Jasmine Guy), who assisted in the attempted abortion and subsequent birth. Powerful, it should be seen before taking on this unfortunate procedure. Which, of course, is the point, this being a faith-based feature.
“October Baby” is overlong at 1 hour and 45 minutes, with too many shots of the poor girl pining away at a picturesque lake. Yet, the premise alone is important: Abortion haunts.