First Comes Love (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

First Comes Love (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. For filmmaker Nina Davenport, that old playground song didn't go as planned. Single at age forty-one, she decides to have a baby on her own, never minding the odds stacked against her or the extra hurdles of living in New York City. Filming the whole process, she excels at candour and comedy. Think of a real-life Girls, only with more grown-up problems. Nina has spent over a decade turning her life experiences into cinematic essays, following the path of her mentors, documentarian Ross McElwee (Sherman's March) and Robb Moss (The Same River Twice). Her combined talents as a cinematographer, editor, and storyteller set her apart from the average first-person filmmaker. She develops characters and story arcs better than most Hollywood screenwriters do. In her quest for motherhood, Nina enlists her best friend Amy as a birth partner and her gay friend Eric as a sperm donor. While pregnant, Nina winds up dating the film critic John Anderson in an unusual display of sympathy between a director and a reviewer. The process of baby-making affects all their lives profoundly. Additionally, Nina struggles to cope with the recent death of her mother, who had been a source of strength, and seeks to improve relations with her father, a source of discouragement. The film taps into the zeitgeist topic of how the modern family is being re-imagined in the early twenty-first century. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In Nina's case, that village is populated by urban sophisticates who have delayed procreation for as long as possible and are late in confronting its joys and chores. Nina is unflinching at exposing her inner and outer self as a case study. She's refreshingly frank and funny about the trials that women endure in order to get pregnant, give birth and manage the early years of parenting. After watching, you'll want to thank your mother. (C) Thom Powers, Toronto International Film Festivalmore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Nina Davenport
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 16, 2014
HBO Films - Official Site

News & Interviews for First Comes Love

Critic Reviews for First Comes Love

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (6)

First Comes Love is, before anything else, a portrait of a longing so deep that even the commandingly articulate Davenport struggles to put it into words.

Full Review… | August 14, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Davenport makes desultory attempts to bring in other mothers, but she is not an interviewer adept at drawing out scintillating observations.

Full Review… | July 26, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

There are many glimmers of truth - as well as what can best be described as accidental insight - in Nina Davenport's painful but beautiful documentary about becoming a parent.

Full Review… | July 25, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

This midlife confessional could have reached beyond the maternal cravings of highly educated, urban-dwelling singletons had it plumbed people's heads as thoroughly as Ms. Davenport's birth canal.

Full Review… | July 24, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

By the end, this HBO presentation feels like one of those uncomfortable evenings where you visit a friend, and they bore you to death with images of their ultrasound.

Full Review… | July 23, 2013
Top Critic

[Approaches] a hot-button issue from the most suffocatingly narcissistic perspective imaginable ...

Full Review… | July 23, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for First Comes Love


I have to admit that though I don't care or even like the center character of the film, the content is quite interesting and somewhat amazing. Love the part about her parents and when she interviewed other people.

Happy to have seen this documentary, I am glad that I did not begin by looking it up on rotten tomatoes. Miss Davenport's pregnancy is just the foreground of the story, and her family's history and dynamic are the background that really fuel her storytelling. I loved watching her evolve as a new mother. She rekindled with her familial past and unearthed morsels of her ancestors.

lea b.
lea b

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