|Writers:||Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor|
|Director of Photography:||James Glennon|
|Production Designer:||Jane Ann Stewart|
|Producers:||Cary Woods and Cathy Konrad|
|Miramax; R; 104 minutes|
|Cast:||Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Kurtwood Smith, Mary Kay Place, Alicia Witt, Kelly Preston, Tippi Hedren and Burt Reynolds|
The stakes are high when a filmmaker tackles the abortion issue. But to treat it comically? That's just plain ballsy. The gamble paid off for Payne, who has fashioned a hilariously bold film. Dern deserves most of the credit for the film's success, giving one of the funniest performances seen on the big screen in a long time. Glue-sniffing Ruth Stoops (Dern) has four kids and is expecting her fifth. When she's busted for the 16th time on charges of hazardous vapor inhalation and criminal endangerment of her fetus, the judge nearly forces her to have an abortion. And the battle begins. A chipper, pro-life couple, Norm (Smith) and Gail (Place) Stoney take her in, though Norm's supposedly chaste interest proves fallible when he hits on Ruth. A spy (Kurtz) from the pro-choice camp infiltrates the pro-lifers and lures Ruth to the other side. Ruth sees dollar signs when both sides start bribing her.