For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal (1996)

Marilu Henner in For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal (1996)

Fertility Fraud

Whilst they have an adopted son, John (Marilu Henner) and Debbie Challender (Randle Mell) would love to have a child together especially Debbie who yearns to know what it is like to have life growing inside of her. It is why they end up at the infertility clinic as Irvine University where Dr. Ash (Castulo Guerra) has a world wide reputation for success. Despite John's reluctance and dislike of the arrogant Dr. Ash and the pushiness of some of his nurses they go ahead with the treatment which whilst it ends up a success also puts Debbie's life in danger. But things don't stop there when through administrator Marilyn Killane (Linda Lavin) it is uncovered that Dr. Ash not only employs uncertified nurses but has been harvesting women's embryos without their permission to implant in to other women and using untested medication in the process.

In a strange way I was looking forwards to watching "For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal" because as a fan of made for TV movies based on true stories this one sounded different. In fact whilst I have watched one TV movie about a doctor using his own seaman on IVF patients I don't remember another move which deals with a true story about IVF and egg harvesting. Unfortunately "For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal" ends up a dry experience, telling a true story but done in a formula manner which robs it of its emotion and heart.

Castullo Guerra in For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal (1996)

As such "For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal" leads us through all the various points of the true story from Debbie desperate to experience having a child, Dr. Ash having no time for his patients, the inexperience of his staff who don't really know what they are doing and so on. All of this is done with moments of melodrama and emotional music. It is such a typical production that it even starts with the court case and Debbie taking to the stand using it as a way to lead in to her flashback story before we then get Killane's story as an administrator.

Even the acting is pretty stereotypical and whilst the make up department do a good job to make Marilu Henner appear gaunt and gravely ill the actors struggle to give their characters depth. The most we get is Castulo Guerra making Dr. Ash arrogant and callous whilst Marilu Henner at least gets across Debbie's desperate desire to experience having a child.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal" tells an interesting story it only does so in a typical made for TV movie style which means a little too much focus on melodrama rather than story and character depth.