Citizen Ruth

Where I Watched it: Paramount Plus

English Audio Description Available?: No

I went way off script and watched a film with no audio description, that came from the mid-90’s. No, I don’t really have a good reason except Paramount Plus was pushing it on me, and I hadn’t seen it yet.

For lack of a better term, Citizen Ruth is an abortion comedy. That’s as weird for me to type out as it is for you to read. And, it totally feels 90’s, complete with a late in the film arrival by Burt Reynolds. Basically, Ruth is a Trainwreck of a person, who has ruined her entire life, and should be a mother to no one. However, she somehow is pregnant, and because she won’t stop partying, she ends up getting charged with endangerment of her fetus. No, I don’t remember the exact legal term, nor do I know if this was ever a real thing.

Suddenly, Ruth finds herself in the middle of needing to stay out of jail, so she accepts the help of a Pro-Life individual who agrees to help her stay out of jail if she just follows his lead. She, however, wants an abortion. Even her cracked out mind knows that a baby from her is a bad idea. Later, she’s rescued by Pro-Choice people, and then there’s this war between two sides, with Ruth stuck in the middle acting like a dumbass and continuing to make awful life choices.

The film doesn’t let Pro-Choice people off the hook like they’re all perfect. They have their “weirdo” moments as well, so if you assumed this was Hollywood taking on the Pro-Life movement, it’s only a partial truth.

Mainly, this is a indie 90’s film that I’m sure felt relevant and hip at the time, but now the jokes don’t work, and Laura Dern’s bizarre performance is somewhat of a turn off. I love me some Laura Dern, but let’s just be honest and say there are easily 10 other performances of hers far better than this.

As there was no audio description, and i can’t imagine this film is a priority, I can say that since the film is very dialogue heavy, it’s pretty easy to follow. Sure, I’m not always sure where we are, or what places look like, but these characters love to talk and espouse their ideas whenever the screen gives them a moment to do so. including a rather creepy moment between Kurtwood Smith’s Pro-Life attorney, sitting next to Ruth on a hideaway bed.

Yes, I like you have my thoughts on this topic. The country is talking about Roe Vs Wade on a regular basis, and I assume that’s how this got dug up in the first place. But, my enjoyment or lack thereof wasn’t impacted by my stance. This is just a very 90’s film that takes a scatterbrained approach to a topic in order that it never truly offends either way.

Final Grade: C+

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