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Citizen Ruth (1996)

Cast: Laura Dern, Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, more...
Director: Alexander Payne, Alexander Payne
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Studio: Miramax
Genre: Comedies, Independent, Political Satire
Running Time: 105 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
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The divisive issue of abortion is at the center of Citizen Ruth, a political satire that attempts to subject both pro-choice and pro-life forces to equal ridicule. Laura Dern portrays Ruth Stoops, an irresponsible, unemployed woman who's addicted to inhaling household chemicals and has becomes pregnant, for the fifth time. After she is arrested for substance abuse, the judge offers to lessen her sentence if Ruth chooses to abort her child. Ruth agrees, but that night she encounters a group of pro-life activists. They take her under their wing, promising to help her, while secretly planning to make her case public as a symbol for the pro-life movement . When Ruth discovers the deception, she takes refuge with a pro-choice group, sparking a media frenzy. Yet Ruth soon finds her new friends are also only interested in her value as a media icon. Realizing she has been used as a pawn in the abortion rights battle, the apolitical Ruth turns the tables, offering to join whoever will give her the best deal. What results is a frantic, comedic session of wheeling-dealing which argues that activists on both sides have become more concerned with waging political warfare than helping women. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Abortions for Some, Miniature American Flags for Others by BrodiesGirl June 11, 2003 - 12:44 AM PDT
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Laura Dern is Ruth, a glue sniffing, fume huffing junkie who finds herself pregnant...again. She finds herself at the center of the abortion war, each side making complete fools of themselves in the process of trying to find what is "best" for Ruth.

The fight and discussion of pro choice vs. pro life has become sooo overblown and ridiculous that we have lost sight of the fact that there are people at the core of this, not just political platforms to spread religious (and non-religious) beliefs.

Alexander Payne is awesome. He's got this satire thing down pat, what with this movie and Election. I thought it was well acted and well written. Nothing spectacular, but a really funny look at the ridiculous political war of this issue.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.54)
171 Votes
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