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Monday, June 17, 2019
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Review: ‘Unplanned’ is surprisingly tame, but profound

For all the controversy (and Twitter bans) swirling around the docudrama about a Planned Parenthood manager whose heart is changed, the “Unplanned” movie is not gruesome. It’s not like watching an hour and 50 minutes of bloody abortions.

But it does show one suction abortion — and that’s not something that is shown to students in high school sex-ed classes.

Maybe it should be shown in high schools.

But then again, with Planned Parenthood in the schools teaching reproductive health, it’s not going to be. And that R rating? That’s a deal-killer for schools, as the Motion Picture Association of America surely knew. The abortion scene is not gory, but it does elicit a lot of emotion. It doesn’t deserve an R — that rating is purely political.

“Unplanned” is the story of Abby Johnson, who becomes the youngest clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood. Then, she sees something she cannot unsee — a tiny fetus actually fighting to not be torn from the womb.

That life-changing experience turns her into an anti-abortion activist.

The movie has gotten a slightly better Rotten Tomatoes rating than “Dumbo,” at 53 percent, but we give it two thumbs up for both the narrative and the cinematography. And for a faith-based film to do as well as it has done on opening weekend, making the top five movies for the weekend is an achievement for any film. But for this one, with just 1,059 theaters willing to screen it, it’s a big success. It netted $6.1 million.

“Dumbo,” on the other hand, earned $45 million from 4,259 domestic movie theaters on opening weekend.

“We are thrilled, gratified and humbled,” “Unplanned” co-directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman said in a statement on Sunday. “We are so pleased that the American people have responded with such an enormous outpouring of support at the box office. It humbles us and we look forward to seeing what happens in the weeks ahead.”

The anti-abortion message is unmistakable. There’s no question the subject matter is important enough to tackle, and it’s never been done like this before, which is kind of remarkable, considering abortion has been legal since 1973.

“Unplanned” tells the story of one woman’s journey from being pro-choice, and a star in her field of abortion clinic management, to “speaking truth to power,” coming clean about Planned Parenthood: Abortion is the core business model.

In Juneau last Friday, legislators and friends gathered at the Munoz Gallery for a private screening of the movie with the producer himself, the day before it premiered in 1,000 theaters nationwide.

Governor Dunleavy’s Chief of Staff Tuckerman Babcock with “Unplanned” producer Daryl Lefever at the Munoz Gallery during a private screening in Juneau of the movie, in theaters now.

Alaska Family Council sponsored the Juneau event, convincing producer Daryl Lefever to fly up from L.A. to give legislators and friends a behind-the-scenes look at this remarkable film, which ended up with a very politically awarded R rating.

Twitter suspended the “Unplanned” Twitter account on Friday, the day the movie premiered nationwide. It was reinstated after outrage erupted in the Twitter universe, but the social media company never offered an explanation.

Many Twitter users over the weekend reported that they attempted to “follow” the movie’s Twitter account, but that Twitter continuously unsubscribed them to the feed. Some reported attempting to follow it over a dozen times, which made them start talking about the phenomenon, and that ended up spreading through Twitter like wildfire on Sunday night.

Harmeet K. Dhillon, an attorney, tweeted: “Twitter is censoring @unplannedmovie and also interfering with the rights on this platform of over 100,000 other Twitter account holders to learn about the film. Who will hold Twitter accountable?”

Fox News’ Shannon Bream tweeted: “Kept reading the tweets about people following @UnplannedMovie – then immediately checking and seeing they are no longer following. Tried for myself, same experience multiple times. What’s the explanation? @jack”

SEE IT IN ALASKA

There is a limited run of the movie in Alaska. Don’t miss it Monday – Wednesday at these location:

Anchorage:
Century 16 & XD
Regal Cinemas Tikahtnu 16 IMAX & RPX
The Valley Cinema –  also showing it Thursday

Fairbanks movie goers can see it this week at Goldstream Monday – Thursday.

Can’t get to Anchorage or Fairbanks? Watch the YouTube movie trailer is at this link.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Fabulous movie from all perspectives. I thought I already knew it all since I’ve been fighting PP for years, but I learned even more from that film. I hope it wakes people up to their manipulative techniques and how they don’t care at all about women, they care about money and they use and lie to women to get it.

  • The movie doesn’t judge anyone who has had an abortion. I recommend everyone see it. The movie shows the desparation of women feel who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. The movie does judge planned parenthood negatively for withholding facts i.e. not showing women their ultrasounds and not explaining the physical pain of the morning after pill. I understand most women who see an ultrasound, don’t go thru with the abortion. The percentage is even lower for those who see a high resolution ultrasound.

  • Looking forward to seeing it. Clearly, if PP showed all the imagery and facts to women, based on what Elaine says above, they would perform fewer procedures which results in less money funneled their way. Just thinking about it makes me sick. A concerted effort to kill as many babies as possible for the money. They certainly aren’t there to help women seek alternatives. What good is there for PP in doing that?

  • Anything that gets the knickers of neo-Marxist Commie Baby Killers in a bunch is okay with me. We need more of these movies, shows, music, books, articles to flood the market place of ideas.