In case you aren’t an avid Netflix watcher like myself, they recently released another one of their Netflix Originals and this one is one you won’t want to miss. It’s about a married couple in their 40s who go through a lot of trials while trying to conceive. They have done multiple IUIs, a few unsuccessful rounds of IVF, had to do ICSI during their IVF cycles, and ended up needing an egg donor (the doctor says because of the wife’s age).
Starring in this Netflix film is Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Molly Shannon (who I should add, is my favorite actress), John Carroll Lynch, and Kayli Carter among many other great actors/actresses.
Private Life starts with a relatable scene. You hear sounds like maybe a man and woman are having sex. Going into this film, you can expect something like that especially if you read what the movie is about or watched the trailer. As the movie starts you see Rachel, 41, laying on a bed with her underwear on and her husband, Richard, 47, asks “are you ready?” before he administers an injection in her butt. For couples that have gone through fertility treatment, you probably know this scene too well. Rachel starts to complain that the way he injected the medication was wrong because it hurt more than she was warned, you can sense the aggravation from the husband. Although you don’t know, at this time, what the aggravation is. Even if it were nothing, we’ve all been there.
The next scene is familiar to anyone with the word infertility on their medical records. Richard and Rachel are sitting in a crowded waiting room along with many other couples obviously in the waiting room of their fertility clinic. But as someone who has sat in that waiting room many times, maybe I picked up on that and others wouldn't.
I won’t spoil every part of the movie, although I would really like to because I thought they did a great job of portraying what I’ve learned an IVF cycle to be like. Now, I haven’t gone through IVF myself but being apart of this community, you learn a lot.
The film continues with an egg retrieval that ends in them learning that Richard needs to have his semen surgically removed and will have to do IVF with ICSI which obviously is an added expense and they have to borrow the money from Richard’s brother. Sadly, that IVF cycle was unsuccessful.
At their “what went wrong” appointment, they discussed that they could try again or because of Rachel’s age, use donor eggs for a better chance at success. Of course that option upset Rachel because she is afraid that she would feel left out of that situation. Although I haven’t even had to think about using donor eggs, I understand why she would feel that way. Her husband was all on board for the donor eggs and that, too, upset her because she was vulnerable, hormonal, and crushed at this point. After some discussing they decide to move forward with the donor eggs but have no luck agreeing on anyone in the database. That’s when they get the good idea to ask their step-niece, Sadie, (Richard’s brothers wife’s daughter) if she would donate her eggs for their next round of IVF. She needs the money, is 25, wants to leave her college, and wants to be a writer which Richard and Rachel support.
Sadie, decides to donate her eggs and the next process beings.
There are a few ups and downs along the way, I truly don’t want to spoil it for you but it’s so worth the watch. Even if you don’t think IVF will be your path, it’s worth it. Did I mention that Molly Shannon is my favorite actress?
I think it’s great that Netflix made a movie about a couple going through IVF and I think it’s even better that they are in their 40s. Not only does it show that there are couples who either wait until they are in their 30s or 40s to have children but it also shows that sometimes people can try to get pregnant for years and still try in their 40s. Netflix did a great job with trying to raise awareness to things like physical and emotional pain of infertility and fertility treatments, talking about the cost and how it’s hard for most couples to find the money to do these treatments, and so much more. In the movie, the Richard and Rachel had many arguments and tough times - showing how infertility can affect a relationship.
It’s truly a well-done movie and I want it to receive support so other film makers will make more relatable movies like that!
If you’ve watched it, comment below and tell me what you thought of the movie! I’d love to hear if you enjoyed it as much as I did, what you liked, what you didn't like, or maybe if you feel that it either accurately or not accurate it is.