The Donor Party High Quality
In the opening scene of THE DONOR PARTY, 30-something Jaclyn (Malin Akerman) runs into her ex-husband, who's now sporting a baby carrier -- and a pregnant, younger wife (who was once "the other woman"). Bereft over the fact that she gave her ex her best childbearing years, Jaclyn is convinced that she needs to become a mother without the complication of navigating the dating apps or singles scene. Considering that artificial insemination and adoption are costly and take a long time, Jaclyn and her best friends, Molly (Erinn Hayes) and Amandine (Bria Henderson), hatch a desperate, Mamma Mia-inspired plan. Jaclyn will hook up with multiple strangers -- chosen by Molly and Amandine -- at the posh 45th birthday party that Molly is throwing for her tech CEO husband, Geoff (Rob Corddry). In one night, Molly is supposed to have sex with the selected strangers -- except one of them bails on the party, and another is a self-absorbed jerk, so the women have to improvise. Armed with hole-punched condoms and lies, Molly and her besties try to keep her secret one-night stands from impacting the rest of the party.
The Donor Party
Disappointing and unfunny, writer-director Thom Harp's movie wastes its cast's comedic talents and makes a joke of the idea of informed consent. In a day and age where "stealthing" can be considered a form of criminal sexual assault, it's odd to see a movie turn the act of poking holes in a condom or using a man as free insemination into a source of laughs. Leaving aside any potential discomfort at a woman's having multiple one-night-stand encounters in a row, the script basically turns taking charge of your fertility into an excuse for lying and tricking sexual partners into becoming potential sperm donors. And Jaclyn's desire to be a single mother stems not from deep reflection but from anger, resentment, and jealousy at seeing her ex-husband with his baby and new wife. Akerman does her best to convey a bit of a nuance in the role (Jaclyn's running out of time! She can't afford to freeze her eggs!), but audiences will likely spend more time cringing than laughing.
Jaclyn's friends introduce her to a number of potential donors at a party, and hilarity ensues as she partakes in a wild night of casual sex while at her friend's birthday party. But as secrets are revealed to the unsuspecting potential donors, everything begins to fall apart around her. The Donor Party will be in theaters and on demand on March 3.
All they have to do is arrange a party and introduce her to some eligible bachelors. Then once she hits it off, they can donate to her baby fund the old fashioned way. However, the best laid plans rarely work especially when trying to get laid.
Takethe plan itself, which arises when Jaclyn literally bumps into her ex-husband,who repeatedly said he had no interest in becoming a father but is now a dad, aswell as a dad-in-waiting, to his new pregnant wife. Wanting to be a mother andnot wanting to waste any more time on dating, Jaclyn and her two best friends,Molly (Erinn Hayes) and Amandine (Bria Henderson), concoct thison-the-cheap-and-quick scheme for her to become pregnant. The friends will doall of the work picking out potential, unwitting sperm donors, which feels likea missed opportunity for the movie to let our protagonist do, well, anythingbeyond having sex with these guys.
By early November, the migrants had reached the Sierra Nevada but became trapped by an early, heavy snowfall near Truckee Lake (now Donner Lake) high in the mountains. Their food supplies ran dangerously low, and in mid-December some of the group set out on foot to obtain help. Rescuers from California attempted to reach the migrants, but the first relief party did not arrive until the middle of February 1847, almost four months after the wagon train became trapped. Of the 87 members of the party, 48 survived the ordeal. Historians have described the episode as one of the most fascinating tragedies in California history and in the entire record of American westward migration.
In the spring of 1846, almost 500 wagons headed west from Independence. At the rear of the train, a group of nine wagons containing 32 members of the Reed and Donner families and their employees left on May 12. George Donner, born in North Carolina, had gradually moved west to Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, with a one-year sojourn in Texas. In early 1846, he was about 60 years old and living near Springfield, Illinois. With him was his 44 year-old wife Tamsen, their three daughters Frances (6), Georgia (4), and Eliza (3), and George's daughters from a previous marriage: Elitha (14) and Leanna (12). George's younger brother Jacob (56) also joined the party with his wife Elizabeth (45), stepsons Solomon Hook (14) and William Hook (12), and five children: George (9), Mary (7), Isaac (6), Lewis (4), and Samuel (1). Also traveling with the Donner brothers were teamsters Hiram O. Miller (29), Samuel Shoemaker (25), Noah James (16), Charles Burger (30), John Denton (28), and Augustus Spitzer (30).
On July 20, at the Little Sandy River, most of the wagon train opted to follow the established trail via Fort Hall. A smaller group opted to head for Fort Bridger and needed a leader. Most of the younger men in the group were European immigrants and not considered to be ideal leaders. James Reed had lived in the U.S. for a considerable time, was older, and had military experience, but his autocratic attitude had rubbed many in the party the wrong way, and they saw him as aristocratic, imperious, and ostentatious.
By comparison, the mature, experienced, American-born Donner's peaceful and charitable nature made him the group's first choice. The members of the party were comfortably well-off by contemporary standards. Most of them were inexperienced in long, difficult, overland travel. Additionally, the party had little knowledge about how to interact with Native Americans.
Reed was very impressed with this information and advocated for the Hastings Cutoff. None of the party received Bryant's letters warning them to avoid Hastings's route at all costs; in his diary account, Bryant states his conviction that Bridger deliberately concealed the letters, a view shared by Reed in his later testimony. At Fort Laramie, Reed met an old friend named James Clyman who was coming from California. Clyman warned Reed not to take the Hastings Cutoff, telling him that wagons would not be able to make it and that Hastings's information was inaccurate. Fellow pioneer Jesse Quinn Thornton traveled part of the way with Donner and Reed, and in his book From Oregon and California in 1848 declared Hastings the "Baron Munchausen of travelers in these countries". Tamsen Donner, according to Thornton, was "gloomy, sad, and dispirited" at the thought of turning off the main trail on the advice of Hastings, whom she considered "a selfish adventurer".
On July 31, 1846, the party left Blacks Fork after four days of rest and wagon repairs, eleven days behind the leading Harlan-Young group. Donner hired a replacement driver, and the company was joined by the McCutcheon family, consisting of 30-year-old William, his 24-year-old wife Amanda, their two-year-old daughter Harriet, and a 16-year-old named Jean Baptiste Trudeau from New Mexico, who claimed to have knowledge of the Native Americans and terrain on the way to California.
The party turned south to follow the Hastings Cutoff. Within days, they found the terrain to be much more difficult than described. Drivers were forced to lock the wheels of their wagons to prevent them from rolling down steep inclines. Several years of traffic on the main Oregon Trail had left an easy and obvious path, whereas the Cutoff was more difficult to find. Hastings wrote directions and left letters stuck to trees. On August 6, the party found a letter from him advising them to stop until he could show them an alternate route to that taken by the Harlan-Young Party.[C] Reed, Charles T. Stanton, and William Pike rode ahead to get Hastings. They encountered exceedingly difficult canyons where boulders had to be moved and walls cut off precariously to a river below, a route likely to break wagons. In his letter Hastings had offered to guide the Donner Party around the more difficult areas, but he rode back only part way, indicating the general direction to follow.
Stanton and Pike stopped to rest, and Reed returned alone to the group, arriving four days after the party's departure. Without the guide they had been promised, the group had to decide whether to turn back and rejoin the traditional trail, follow the tracks left by the Harlan-Young Party through the difficult terrain of Weber Canyon, or forge their own trail in the direction that Hastings had recommended. At Reed's urging, the group chose the new Hastings route. Their progress slowed to about one and a half miles (2.4 km) a day. All able-bodied men were required to clear brush, fell trees, and heave rocks to make room for the wagons.[D]
It was August 20 by the time that they reached a point in the mountains where they could look down and see the Great Salt Lake. It took almost another two weeks to travel out of the Wasatch Range. The men began arguing, and doubts were expressed about the wisdom of those who had chosen this route, in particular James Reed. Food and supplies began to run out for some of the less affluent families. Stanton and Pike had ridden out with Reed but had become lost on their way back; by the time that the party found them, they were a day away from eating their horses.
Luke Halloran died of tuberculosis on August 25. A few days later, the party came across a torn and tattered letter from Hastings. The pieces indicated there were two days and nights of difficult travel ahead without grass or water. The party rested their oxen and prepared for the trip. After 36 hours they set off to traverse a 1,000-foot (300 m) mountain that lay in their path. From its peak, they saw ahead of them a dry, barren plain, perfectly flat and covered with white salt, larger than the one they had just crossed, and "one of the most inhospitable places on earth" according to Rarick. Their oxen were already fatigued, and their water was nearly gone. 041b061a72