Antero, a speed skater, and Venla, a psychologist, are a modern, long-time unmarried couple in Finland. But their relatioship is in crisis: Venla wants them to finally marry and have a family. Antero is fine with marrying,... more » but definitely does not want children, particularly as he believes it will interfere with his success in sports. Fearful of losing Venla, Antero proposes, but secretly, he also gets a vasectomy. Frustrated and angry-and determined to have a child-Venla concocts a plan to have an "after hours" insemination at the fertility clinic where she works. But to her surprise, she begins to develop feelings for Satu, the sympathetic female doctor in on the scheme.« less
Venla is a fertility clinic psychologist who provides counseling for couples before they take that life-altering plunge into child-rearing. The irony is that Venla wants desperately to have a child of her own, but Antero, her boyfriend of fifteen years, who wants no part of the responsibility of fatherhood, is secretly sabotaging their efforts at conception, going so far as slipping contraceptives into her drinks and eventually even having a vasectomy without her knowledge. The third major character in the drama is Satu, a lesbian co-worker at the clinic, who also wants a child and with whom Venla begins to fall in love.
"Producing Adults" is one of the few films I can remember that actually deals with an issue that most people end up struggling with at some point in their lives: when - and even if - to have children. The movie tries to be fair with all its characters, even showing Antero, who does some pretty despicable things in the course of the movie, in a reasonably sympathetic light. Although his motives for not having children arise from a certain core selfishness - he is a championship skater who feels fatherhood would severely limit his chances of winning an Olympic gold medal - we can see that he truly does love Venla and is terrified of losing her. We can also empathize with his terror when he visits his prolific married buddy whose home seems to be literally overrun with rampaging little ones. And, for all his dishonesty, at least he isn't producing children THEN deciding he doesn't want to have anything to do with raising them. Moreover, writer Pekko Pesonen and director Aleksi Salmanpera, although their sympathies clearly lie with the two women who want desperately to be mothers, still acknowledge that the very act of having children can often be as rooted in selfishness as NOT having them. In addition, Venla is not always completely honest herself, even going so far as to trick her husband into "donating" a sperm sample to see if he's fertile without his prior consent.
This Finnish film offers a complex study of human nature as the three main characters interact in ways that are both revelatory and highly unexpected. Actually, the movie is at its most interesting when it is focusing on the marital conflict between Venla and Antero, and a bit less interesting when it is chronicling the burgeoning love between Venla and Satu. Venla's almost instantaneous "conversion" to lesbianism seems too much a matter of convenience to be taken seriously and, thus, puts a strain on the story's credibility. Still, despite that weakness, the film is not only well acted, but has some profound things to say about the kind of compromises people have to make when they become mature adults."
Intriguing movie about the disintegration of a straight rela
K. E. Fox | Austin, Texas | 06/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is about a lovely Finnish woman named Venla, a psychologist at a fertility clinic, who has been with her boyfriend for 15 years. She has decided she now wants to have kids but he doesn't want any and instead says he wants to have her support them while he pursues his speed skating dreams. In this film, the boyfriend ends up doing several unethical actions to Venla to ensure that they never produce children, including slipping her a morning after pill in her champagne to ensure she isn't pregnant after a condom busts and then later on getting a vasectomy. He also lies and tells her he wants to have kids. At work Venla discusses all the trials of her relationship with a female coworker named Satu, the lab worker. Satu is a lesbian who seems to have given up having anyone in her life to love and has ended up in an unfulfilling relationship with a male next door neighbor just to alleviate her loneliness. About halfway through the film Venla decides to take drastic action in order to get pregnant and asks for the assistance of Satu, who cares deeply for Venla. When they are caught by the boss of the clinic, a number of surprising happenings occur, including both the women going bed together and being caught by the Venla's boyfriend. -- The cover of this DVD said this is an amusing film. I didn't find it amusing so much as gut-wrenching to watch as the male/female couple relationship as it crumbles. I'm only giving these film three stars because I bought this film thinking it was going to be a lesbian love story but this film is not about that, so much as adults making hard decisions in their lives after finding they aren't getting what they want from their partner. This film also did not develop the romantic relationship between Venla and Satu and I found their sudden sexual/romantic was rather abrupt, and not romantic or persuasive. I wish the filmmaker would have spent much less time on the selfish boyfriend who doesn't want to grow up; and was also a dishonest and unethical cad to a woman he said he loved. I also wanted to know more about the enigmatic Satu and have seen the romantic relationship between the two women developed more. This film also ended very abruptly and I would have liked to see a better end between Venla and Satu by adding at least another 20 minutes to this 90 minute film."
Refreshingly unique queer love story...with substance.
queer movie lover | 11/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Producing Adults" is a refreshingly unique story of a love triangle with a clever queer twist. It's a film about figuring out just where your heart lies -- in work, hobby, family, and romance -- and what exactly it takes to figure it all out. Set in Finland with English subtitles, "Producing Adults" is audacious, with the perfect amount of humor and cute romance laced into an absolutely profound love story.
Venla, a fertility counselor, wants nothing more than a baby with her aspiring speedskater boyfriend, Antero. Antero, however, is too devoted to his skating to want anymore complications in his life, but is unwilling to talk about it with Venla. The overwhelming secrecy begins to push Venla further and further away, and what was meant to minimize complication ends up doing the exact opposite. Soon enough, someone in the relationship develops feelings for someone else....someone of the same sex. What ensues is a sometimes-sexy, always realistically challenging romantic story about love -- both what we love (job, kids) and who we love.
The story is engaging throughout, and I'd be hard-pressed to find any remote complaints. Good acting, good script, and excellent production. "Producing Adults" has won audiences over around the world, with several awards from international and queer film festivals alike. Join the queer masses and watch this movie. With just the right balance of comedy, romance, and drama, it's perfect for any mood."
Love and the choices we make *may contain spoiler*
CamilleBaker | 01/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a fine film. i'm sure everyone who watched it and loved it loved it for various reasons (and there was much to like about it). i think i liked it so much because it made me feel so normal, so human and gave me courage to be honest with myself. My favorite character among all of them was Satu, the obstetrician/gynecologist who plays the colleague of fertility counsellor, Venla. Venla and Antero have been together about a decade and Antero finally proposes and she accepts. Venla is very ready for a child but Antero is not. Not wanting to be a father, but not wanting to lose Venla, he secretly gets a vasectomy. Satu is kind and compassionate in trying to help Venla in her quest to get pregnant by any means, and both women get increasingly drawn to each other. At the end of the day, i guess we love who we love and make choices we live with. i think that's what the characters in this film did, and gave me courage to do the same."
Real movie, real tension
Kay Leggett | Atlanta, Georgia USA | 09/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Acting is much better in most movies with prominent lesbian character[s]. True to my experience of how real love develops. With all kinnds of bumps along the way. Watch it with a smile on your face;and, a catch in your stomach sometimes."