DVD: Finn’s Girl

Review of the new film from Laurie Colbert and Dominique Cardona. On DVD now through Wolfe video.

In Finn’s Girl (released on DVD in August by Wolfe Video), motorcycle-ridin’ Toronto fertility specialist Dr. Finn Jeffries (Brooke Johnson) does her best to balance a hectic professional schedule with a deeply emotional personal life.   In between long days at her abortion clinic, the research she undertakes at home and the booty-call texts she gets from a female colleague, she ponders her past, present and future, while replaying her own wedding ceremony and photos of her and her partner, Nancy, who has recently passed away.   Finn (Brooke Johnson) is a selfless juggler of life, a renegade for reproductive rights and a lesbian we all want to cheer on in her single- parenting of Nancy’s daughter, 11-year-old Zelly (Maya Ritter).   But there are only so many hours in a day, and Zelly goes unsupervised for far too many of them.  

Zelly fraternizes with her pals Eve, the androgynous girl-next-door and compatriot in sexual exploration, and Max, a third third-wheel boy who’s sensitive enough to hang out with them and wimpy enough to endure the girls’ taunting and physical dominance. The trio experiments with being naughty, in the form of smoking pot, terrorizing the local shop keepshopkeeper and provoking the right-to-lifers outside the clinic, among other exploits.   Satisfying as it is to watch the well-crafted plot progress, we sense danger lurking on the verge of disaster.

Help arrives in the form of two cops in a surveillance squad car parked first outside the abortion clinic, then outside her Finn’s home.   These benevolent watchers give us a more intimate view of the complex reality where Finn and Zelly live.   Finn is ultimately knocked from her motorcycle and forced to reorganize her priorities, which include keeping a closer watch on her more-unique-than-you-know (no spoiler here!) pre-teen while remaining true to herself.   Finn’s Girl is a wonderfully juicy, more-than-meets-the-eye drama that the viewer easily forgives for its dizzying complexity as it succeeds in presenting a smorgasbord of concerns for LGBT child rearing in the dawning of stem cell fertility research.

Finn’s Girl is part action-drama, part political laboratory, part philosophical discussion, but it is in all parts about women. Colbert and Cardona have given us an intelligent and captivating story that asks what the overriding societal factors are for lesbian couples raising a child.   

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