So far this COVID experience has been difficult to transfer to media. Most shows and movies have chosen to ignore it in the guise of escapism but there have been a few standouts. Interesting enough 2 of my favorites focus on the female experience with Stop and Go and I’m Fine Thanks for Asking. Now we can another compelling entry with the new film on HBOMax Single Mother by Choice.
In 2019 Selina Ringel and her husband Dan Levy Dagerman decided to make movie chronicling her pregnancy but make the character a SMBC or Single Mother By Choice. This is obviously where a woman becomes pregnant through a sperm donor and has the child without a partner.
Then COVID happened and the lockdown and the story changed. All of the sudden the expected loneliness became magnified and Selina’s vulnerability and yet strength all the more exposed.
Ringel said “The lockdown as a result of Covid-19 plays directly into this theme. My character gets exactly what she wished for, to take care of everything by herself, but at a whole other level than she imagined and the lonlieness that comes with that is unbearable.”
Obviously this film is shot on a small budget but I felt it really captured the highs and lows of being single in the lockdown. I worked from home so I didn’t think it would be that hard but it was, and I can only imagine if I had all that while being pregnant!
I almost wish it was a series so I could keep following mother and child. One of my favorite parts was when she is interviewing roommates- something I can relate with as I had to find new tenants for my basement apartment during the pandemic.
Also all the zoom chats and the googling information about COVID and the baby. At one point her doctor tells her ‘stay off of google” LOL. It’s an interesting dichotomy because at the same time she’s doing this bold confident thing she’s also never been more isolated and alone. She both realizes she can do it on her own and that she needs people all at the same time. I think we all can relate to that understanding over the last few years.
Selina says “It has been through doing some deep work on myself that I have realized that asking for help is a strength, I think it is important to start seeing vulnerability as a positive attribute.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Single Mother By Choice is a moving insightful look at the female experience in the era of COVID. Definitely worth a watch if you get a chance.
7 out of 10