Romeo Romeo: A Must See Documentary About Love, Infertility and Modern Marriage
***Disclosure: I received a film screener to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
I am a big fan of documentaries. In fact, I often choose them over normal movies or TV shows. Why? Well, for one, when I watch a true crime documentary for example, the stories are real. The detectives working on the case give their commentary throughout. You hear from the families of those involved and can see their emotions. No script. No pre-written plot twists. It's just so much more authentic than watching CSI where all of the female investigators are rocking Prada, Botox, and some really suspicious looking plastic parts. Now have you ever walked into a police station just to find all of the women look like Victoria's Secret models? No? Exactly. To me, that just seems unbelievably phony. That's why I like to keep it real by choosing real life stories featuring very real people when I can.
Recently, I got the opportunity to check out a new documentary that chronicles a modern marriage, and the couples' journey through infertility. In "Romeo Romeo", you'll meet Jessica and Lexy, a lesbian couple who seem to have it all...Jessica works at a large NYC PR firm representing some of my favorite brands, and Lexy works with kids as a nanny and moonlights as a Manhattan lounge singer. (She's good, too! In fact, when she started singing "Songbird" by Fleetwood Mac, I got chills.) Life seems to be going great until it becomes all too apparent that something is missing.....A baby.
Before I get into my film review, I want to share a few things from my own life that drew me to this film. Anyone who knows me personally knows that these topics hit home with me in a major way. For one, I am the parent of a gay teen. I don't blog about it much because...well...My son's sexuality is kind of a "non-issue" in our home. Who he is attracted to doesn't define him. So rather than seeing "a gay kid", I see a boy who is kind, compassionate, creative, loving, and artistic. I see a great son and big brother, a loyal friend, and an all-around amazing human being. His sexual preference simply does not matter to us.
Marriage equality is something I feel very passionately about, and I think the world could definitely benefit from seeing that a gay marriage is just like a straight one. That's right. There are no boogeymen hiding in their closets, they do not have crazy gay sex parties, and they're just like everyone else. Sorry to burst any bubbles there, but it's true. And I will say what I say to anyone who asks why I support gay marriage: My child deserves to settle down one day with someone he loves. Male, female, black, white, purple...That doesn't matter to me. It's not about WHO you love, it's HOW you love. If my son is happy and treated well, I will openly welcome whoever ends up making his life complete.
Gay couples have the same dreams, goals, and desires as straight couples. For many couples, this includes having a family. Of course for a lesbian couple like Jessica and Lexy, this presents a different set of challenges. Challenges I know all too well from personal experience. Well, I understand most of them, anyway. When Dan and I were trying for a baby, we had a penis readily at our disposal, which probably made things substantially simpler. We tried to conceive for a whopping 4 years before we were blessed with our daughter, and shortly thereafter, our son. Yep. I was pregnant for almost 2 years with no real break. Never, ever again, people. My tubes got tied after having back-to-back pregnancies and c-sections 12 months apart. But I am so grateful for my kids, and wouldn't change a thing.
Anyway, going through the pain of infertility is something that is truly gut-wrenching. It's a type of pain that no one could really understand unless they've been there. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, to be honest. I guess that's why "Romeo Romeo" had me reduced to a sobbing wreck. I knew the emotions that Jessica and Lexy were feeling, and I just wanted to whip out a magic wand full of "Baby Dust" and dump a big load of it on top of these lovely ladies.
Okay, enough about me. Back to the film. (Sorry, like I said, this documentary covers issues that I feel very passionately about, so if I ramble, forgive me.)
Jessica and Lexy decided that while they had a marriage they love, they both had an empty place in their hearts that could only be filled with a tiny, crying, pooping bundle of joy. Jessica was smart, and decided that she did not want to carry the baby. (Smart move...Pregnancy kind of stinks. At least for me it wasn't the most pleasant thing in the world.) However Lexy has always had that maternal longing. The only thing she's ever wanted in her whole life was to simply hear the words that so many take for granted: "I love you, Mom."
The ladies decide that they are willing to spend their entire life savings to pursue their dreams of parenthood. Lexy will carry the baby, and they will finally build a family of their own. They consult doctors and fertility specialists, and even choose an anonymous sperm donor whose Italian-Irish ancestry would help them grow the perfect little baby. Unfortunately, Jessica and Lexy have several months full of BFN's. (In the infertility world, this means BIG FAT NEGATIVE. Or you can insert another F word, which is something I always did when I got them. This is the pregnancy test mocking you with an ugly, glaring NO.)
After several failed inseminations, failed rounds of Clomid, and failed IVF, the ladies decide to go a different route to help create their family. I am not going to say exactly how they go about conceiving a child, but I will say that sometimes going back to basics and even going against doctors' orders can work wonders. If you want to see the outcome of their journey, you'll have to check out the documentary!
Overall, I am basically in love with "Romeo Romeo". Yes, that is a very bold statement to make about a documentary featuring 2 women I don't personally know. But having gone through similar struggles myself, I could almost feel exactly what they were feeling. It all came rushing back to the surface. The anger. The sadness. The helplessness. The sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when it seems everyone is pregnant but you. It was my reality for years, so seeing Lexy and Jessica's struggles really affected me. I was in tears right along with them throughout most of the film!
One of the things I liked most about "Romeo Romeo" is that these ladies are no-nonsense. They don't sugar-coat anything. For most people, trying to conceive comes easy. It's a joyful time. But when faced with infertility issues, this opens the door to a lot of not-so-happy things like financial stress, and even strain on a marriage. I love the fact that these issues are very realistically portrayed in this film. Jessica and Lexy cry together, get excited together, and yes, they even jump down each-other's throats some. This isn't Hollywood where everything just magically falls into place and everyone is smiling all the time. This is real life with raw emotions, and I think Jessica and Lexy were so incredibly brave to share their story, bumps in the road and all.
So if you or someone you know is affected by infertility, or if you just want to see an interesting story about how families are created within a gay marriage, you're definitely going to want to check out "Romeo Romeo". Jessica and Lexy are candid, open, and you're bound to shed some tears here are there as you follow their compelling journey into motherhood. I promise you won't be disappointed.
How to View Romeo Romeo :
Lucky for you, there are PLENTY of ways you can enjoy "Romeo Romeo", right from your computer, mobile device, or even your video game consoles!
Here are some direct links so you can see this life-changing film for yourself:
• Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/romeoromeo
• Amazon: http://amzn.to/1kFuhOk
• Vudu: http://bit.ly/MLhs8t
• Playstation: http://bit.ly/1nB2z9S
• Xbox: http://bit.ly/1cVrTmk
• Blinkbox: http://bit.ly/1egKubd
• iTunes: http://bit.ly/1gxPRiA
• Google Play: http://bit.ly/1nB5qzH
3/23/2014 06:58:29 am
Thanks for sharing this! I just watched the trailer for Romeo Romeo + can't wait to watch the full documentary. I'm a sucker for love stories and this seems to be just that; their love for each other and for their future baby shines through.
6/25/2017 09:22:53 am
Hi Brandy. Romeo Romeo was a program schedule yesterday (6/24 & 25 Chicago) evening on America Reframed. Saw it last year twice. Once again it was heartwarming to see Lexy & Jess again. Being it's 2017, I know they had another child ,,,,, a boy. Can't seem to find current updates on them. Will keep trying. P. S. Love your doc reviews!
10/26/2016 01:25:27 am
I just watched this on PBS tonight, & it is a truly beautiful story. What amazing ladies they are! Every minute of it touched my heart!
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PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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