The documentary tackles some of the myths surrounding FASD, including ‘Its ok to have 1 or 2 drinks in pregnancy’, ‘You can tell if someone has FASD because of the way they look’ and ‘People with FASD just behave badly’. In fact, in the UK, chief medical officers have said, since 2016, that there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink in pregnancy with some research showing that just one drink of alcohol can affect fetal behaviour in the womb. Often associated with distinctive facial features, less than 10% of people living with FASD will actually have different facial features and rather than their behaviour being something that they can simply overcome, FASD instead makes cognitive processing, emotional regulation and impulse control harder for people living with the issue.
George Stevens, known for A Place in the Sun (1951) and Giant (1956), directs Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in this heart-wrenching tale of a couple who want nothing more than to start a family. When they find out they’re unable to become pregnant, they turn to adoption. There aren’t too many films about adoption in general, let alone during the Golden Age of Hollywood, when adoption was perceived as shameful. But Penny Serenade managed to make it to screens and shine a positive light on the less-than-traditional approach.
Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and enjoy this heart-warming classic movie.