No longer is pregnancy a repulsive or shameful condition in
Hollywood films, but an attractive attribute, often enhancing the
romantic or comedic storyline of a female character. Kelly Oliver
investigates this curious shift and its reflection of changing
attitudes toward women's roles in reproduction and the family. Not
all representations signify progress. Oliver finds that in many
pregnancy films, our anxieties over modern reproductive practices
and technologies are made manifest, and in some cases perpetuate
conventions curtailing women's freedom. Reading such films as
Where the Heart Is (2000), Riding in Cars with
Boys (2001), Palindromes (2004), Saved!
(2004), Quinceañera (2006), Children of Men
(2006), Knocked Up (2007), Juno (2007), Baby
Mama (2008), Away We Go (2009), Precious
(2009), The Back-up Plan (2010), Due Date (2010),
and Twilight: Breaking Dawn (2011), Oliver investigates
pregnancy as a vehicle for romance, a political issue of "choice,"
a representation of the hosting of "others," a prism for fears of
miscegenation, and a screen for modern technological anxieties.
Subjects: Philosophy, Sociology, Film Studies
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