Surprised that I picked such a controversial movie?
Although the topic of this film is a highly touchy subject and opposed Church teaching on the sanctity of Marriage and the appropriate ways for procreation, I believe it speaks a deeper message then simply a romantic comedy.
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, I’ll give you a quick synopsis (No spoilers, I promise!). Kassie is a middle age woman who desperately wants a child. However, she’s been unlucky on the romantic front and the only man in her life is her best friend Wally. Kassie decides to get pregnant by artificial insemination. This means she uses the sperm of another man to inseminate her egg. The child she has, Sebastian, is her son but his father is unknown to him.
The movie goes on to tell the story of Wally, Sebastian, and Kassie and their roles in each others lives. What really moved me to right about this movie was a particular scene with Sebastian and Wally. Roland has started a collection of picture frames. However, it is a bit of an odd collection because Sebastian never takes the photos out of the frames. The scene I want you to see is Sebastian explaining to Wally why he likes keeping the ‘third-stock photo models’ in the frames in stead of filling them with people he knows.
First of all this would be a great segway into a post explaining the Church’s teaching about artificial insemination. However, I will leave the nit-gritty details for another time. Basically the Church teaches against artificial insemination. This is because they believe procreation was designed by God to happen during intercourse.
Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union… Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person. CCC 2377
The Church, in her wisdom sees the tragic circumstances that come about when this design is left behind and matters are taken into the hands of humans. Unfortunately artificial insemination leaves children fatherless. This touching scene displays this very fact. Now I doubt that a Hollywood movie really set out to prove this point, however it is impossible not to see the devastating effect that not having a father does to a child. It is confusing, lonely, and ostracizing.
Not only does the child know that he is different from other children who have fathers, but he also misses out on the intimate bond a Father creates with his son. I am sure children who loose their Fathers, whether through divorce or death, feel a strong loss of a fatherly presence in their life.
These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.” (CDF, Donum vitae II, 1)” (CCC 2376)
This is a dangerous disruption of the Family. The Family plays a very important role in the world. It effects people from their upbringing and probably has the most impact on an individual then any other factor. When the role of Father and Mother cease to be, the well being of the child is forsaken.
Unfortunately in this movie, Kassie wanted so badly to have a child for herself, that she forgot to take into account how it would effect the child. It was a selfish act, and although I may offend some by saying so, I truly believe every child has the right to both a Father and Mother who created them in an act of love.
I am not so naive as to think this only happens in cases of artificial insemination, however, this movie is not about other circumstances.
Anyways, the point of this post is to show that even in movies where we might be immediately put off because of the anti-christian messages there might be something we can learn from and use to explain the wisdom the Catholic Church already taught.