It sounds like “Next on ‘Geraldo’ “: Woman agrees to be surrogate, has twins, but couple doesn’t want two, so they take one, and surrogate sues for custody so the two can stay together. But surprisingly “Moment of Truth: A Child Too Many” is more than shock-talk fodder, it’s family entertainment of a different sort with a script by Jayne Martin that becomes truly compelling.
Certainly the plot, which is a mouthful, will attract the curious, but emotional acting by Michele Greene as the surrogate along with decent production values and strongly paced direction by Jorge Montesi should keep viewers tuned in.
Story begins slowly and without much motivation as Patty Nowakowski (Greene) decides that even with three of her own kids, she’d like to be a surrogate for a childless couple.
She’s not seeking money — although she gets some later — and doesn’t know the couple, which may make some viewers think her desire to give birth again is either masochistic or unbelievable.
But this weakness in motivation is quickly overcome, as the childless couple (Nancy Stafford and Stephen Macht, who make a chilly pair) quickly become the antagonists with their wish for just one child.
Emotion picks up here as Greene goes from dismay to anger as the case goes from courtroom to state legislature.
“Child Too Many” is part of NBC’s ongoing series, under the umbrella title “Moment of Truth,” that explores contemporary family issues.
With the current glut of based-on-a-true-story telepics, some of the more interesting ones, such as this, can be lost in the shuffle.
Don’t be afraid of this based-on-a-true-story: it’s fact that’s weirder than fiction, which isn’t easy to pull off.