Ricki Lake’s “The Business Of Being Born” Awesomely Icky

TV shows or movies about baby-birthing are a bit like a car wreck to us — watching them makes us ache in all sorts of places we didn’t know existed, yet we still cannot turn away out of a morbid fascination. Add Ricki Lake to a movie about baby-birthing and you’ve got what amounts to a 10-car pile-up in the middle of a busy Los Angeles freeway. Lake, who famously starred as fat and awesome Tracy Turnblad in John Waters’ Hairspray and as the host of her eponymous talk show in the ’90s, has two kids and both of the births were done at home. She filmed the birth of her second son Owen and then decided to turn portions of the material into the new documentary “The Business of Being Born” which she executive produced. The documentary tackles the way in which hospitals typically handle the birth ritual (read: as a traumatic emergency situation), offering midwife-assisted home births as a positive and completely safe alternative. More juicy details, after the jump. For the record, the film has plenty of footage of Lake in a state of complete undress and the viewer does indeed witness her give birth in her bathtub. However, unlike all those sexist bloggers out there making cracks about how gross the idea is, we want to say that we think it’s an awesome and brave statement for Lake to make, especially since she had to put herself out there in such an intimate way. That said, we are still totally traumatized by the birthing video our Female Physiology professor made us watch (her own!) on the lecture hall’s enormous screen and may have to take the critics word for it that this is a wonderfully touching and educational film. Or, judge it for yourselves and tell us your impressions in the comments! [The Business of Being Born]