First Comes Love – is an honest portrayal of motherhood in 2013 – it is narrated through a video memoir by the witty, talented, single and fortysomething Nina Davenport. The movie is about the journey of a single girl (Nina) becoming a single parent, the loss of her mother, her conflicts and travails with her very traditional dad and the fortune of having good friends acting as Nina’s extended family.
Davenport grew up like many of us, with an idealized notion of how becoming a parent should be. But she paints a picture of a new type of nuclear family: the sperm donor, her gay friend, the post-pregnancy boyfriend and the birth partner, her best friend who seemed to be ‘child free’ by choice.Nina’s friends and family play a big role in the film; through them, we understand her great desire for having a child and all of the thoughts and insecurities that come with that. Davenport challenges the skeptics through her father’s more traditional eyes and suffers the loss of her mom, her rock, at the same time.Finding ‘Mr. Right’ seems to be a fleeting possibility for the single filmmaker living in Brooklyn. We are exposed to many of her trials with non-committal boyfriends as she tried to find the one in the NYC dating scene. We can all find a little bit of ourselves in Nina which makes this personal for anyone adjusting to the norms and challenges we face with starting a family in a traditional sense.
‘Mr. Right’ is put to the side; it is not a pre-req for Nina anymore. Gasp, relief. Nina’s close friends and family become her support network as in-vitro fertilization is introduced and the chaos of pregnancy and post labor is exposed.
We see Davenport pee on the stick, we see her brutal round of IVF including the toll the daily injected hormones and those precious un-brushed moments of giving birth and the sweet moments where Nina finds herself in her new baby boy.
First Comes Love will be part of HBO’s summer Docs series and will be on July 29th at 9pm