It’s literally impossible to merely look at Tamara Jenkin’s ‘Private Life’ as a poignant, yet hilarious account of a couple striving hard to start a family, late starters though they seem to be. ‘Private Life’ is much, much more, and presents a vivid dissection of a relationship that is stretched and strained in all possible ways before they get to see each other for what they truly are.
In the opening scene, we get to see Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard (Paul Giamatti), way into their forties at a fertility clinic waiting for an IVF procedure, and with Rachel all set for her eggs to be retrieved, Richard gets busy watching some porn for the sperm extraction. Bad news awaits, and Dr. Dordick (Denis O’Hare) reveals that the sperms are nowhere in sight. Rachel’s eggs aren’t any great shakes either!
With the IVF costing them a fortune, and bearing none of the fruits that are expected of it, the couple tries their hands at multiple options – including a surrogate mother, adoption and at last an egg donor. With Richard’s niece Sadie (Kayli Certer) readily agreeing to be the donor, their hopes are all perked up, though Sadie’s mom Cythia is horrified at the very idea.
The writing is top-notch, and the in-depth analytical sketches that Tamara comes up with make ‘Private Life’ a cinematic accomplishment in its own right. Loaded with tons of humour and yet spilling over with soreness, ‘Private Life’ is the kind of film that makes you immediately look up and take note of the director’s filmography online.