‘Private Life:’ An emotional rollercoaster that will leave you wanting more


While I initially was unsure what to expect from the Netflix original film “Private Life,” it surprised me in the best of ways. I’m not sure why I always expect less from Netflix films. Maybe it’s because going to the cinema in real life is a completely different experience or maybe because I’m used to seeing massive movie premieres with well-known actors and actresses. However, “Private Life” encompassed the perfect mix between suspense and emotion, bringing the audience on a roller coaster filled with empathy, happiness, despair and so much more.

The movie illustrates the story of a couple, Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (Kathryn Hahn),

who struggle with infertility. Reaching their 50s, they are both aware that time is ticking, but their desire to build a family prompts them to endure the ups and downs of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and even consider adoption.

The road to fertility does not seem hopeful until their niece moves into their NYC apartment with them and agrees to donate her eggs. While this was a massive step in the right direction, it did not alleviate all the obstacles that were to come.

“Private Life” successfully immerses the audience in the film, projecting every emotion that the

character is feeling on the viewer. When Rachel is frustrated and feels as if her own body is giving up on her, the audience feels sympathy for her. When Richard felt as if he wasn’t emotionally supporting his wife to the best of his ability, the audience hopes that their perseverance as a couple shines through.

Movies like these are the most enjoyable to watch. Instead of simply spending two hours listening to a story line that one cannot relate to, I was fully involved in the characters struggles, their victories and their emotions.

While the main problem of the plot is infertility, there was so much more involved in

the story line. Sadie (Kayli Carter), the couple’s niece, decides to drop out of college despite her mother’s disapproval. Thus, it is not just her love for her aunt and uncle that prompts her to donate her eggs, but rather the overwhelming feeling that she has to “do something” with her life.

Feeling like she is unable to accomplish anything due to not finishing school, Sadie sees her situation as an opportunity to be helpful. The spectator is able to embark on Sadie’s journey as well, experiencing all the ups and downs as she tries to learn to believe in herself and figure out the rightful path for her in a time where she does not have much support.

I was able to relate to all the characters, despite never going through their situation. The acting in

the movie was realistic and impeccable, with actors and actresses not overdoing any of the scenes.

My one complaint stems from the end of the movie. The spectator is left with essentially no closure. After enduring two hours of story line that leaves you wanting more, the movie ends with a dull scene of Richard and Rachel sitting at a diner. There are no hints if they ever had a baby, were able to conceive or even if Sadie ever lived out her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Of course, cliffhangers are needed in a series, but I felt as if the ending was far too abrupt for a movie, with the plot only reaching what should have been the middle of the story line.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jordana Castelli is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at jordana.castelli@uconn.edu.

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