Review: ‘Miss Conception’

Miscast and miscalculated, "Miss Conception" hopes to collect on Hollywood's recent baby-on-board craze, delivering instead the least credible take on human pregnancy since Arnold Schwarzenegger gave birth in "Junior."

Miscast and miscalculated, “Miss Conception” hopes to collect on Hollywood’s recent baby-on-board craze, delivering instead the least credible take on human pregnancy since Arnold Schwarzenegger gave birth in “Junior.” Adopting a coy British accent, Heather Graham stars as soon-to-be-infertile Georgina, down to her last ovum and determined to make a baby by any means necessary. What “Baby Mama” accomplished in an efficient montage, director Eric Styles and scenarist Camilla Leslie explore in one predictably disastrous scenario after another as Georgina tries everything from cruising funerals for vulnerable guys to raping her gay best friend. Attendance should be as scarce as the laughs.

There comes a point in most romantic comedies when a misunderstanding makes reconciliation seem impossible, forcing audiences to sit through a few uncomfortable scenes until harmony is inevitably restored. Originally titled “Buy Borrow Steal,” “Miss Conception” establishes that dynamic early on and milks it for the better part of 90 minutes, dispatching Georgina’s babyphobic boyfriend (Tom Ellis) to Northern Ireland (where much of the film was shot) while she tramps about London in search of sperm, even though auds know full well only the old-fashioned method will suffice.

Miss Conception



A First Look Studios (in U.S.) release of a Blue Angel Films production, in co-production with Miromar Entertainment, in association with Northern Ireland Screen and Intl. Film Finance. Produced by Doris Kirch. Co-producer, Michel Morales. Directed by Eric Styles. Screenplay, Camilla Leslie.


Camera (color, widescreen), Ed Mash; editor, Danny Tull; music, Christian Henson; production designer, Humphrey Jaeger; art director, Nigel Pollock. Reviewed at First Look Studios screening room, Los Angeles, May 28, 2008. (In Miami Film Festival.) MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 103 MIN.


Heather Graham, Tom Ellis, Mia Kirshner, Ruta Gedmintas, Orlando Seale, Will Mellor, Edward MacLiam.

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