In “Miss Conception,”Heather Graham plays Georgina, an Englishwoman who fights with her baby-hating boyfriend just before finding out she has exactly one -- count it, one -- ovum left and two weeks to go before the lonesome egg swan dives down her fallopian tube and into oblivion. Meanwhile, her man is away on business with his beautiful new assistant. It's the "Speed" of biological clock stories.
So what's a spectacularly beautiful 34-year-old (early menopause, don't ask) construction company-owner to do? How about come up with a list of madcap schemes to get pregnant, none of which includes the simplest solution. When her baby-averse friend Clem (Mia Kirshner, sporting a dubious accent to match Graham's) suggests an anonymous sperm donor, Georgina quickly dismisses it. ("Sperm! I don't want sperm! I want a baby!")
Instead, she maps out a multi-day plan that involves getting a sexy makeover and placing an ad in the newspaper looking for a roommate so that she may seduce unsuspecting candidates; attending funerals so that she may seduce unsuspecting, grief-stricken mourners; going to a nightclub so that she may seduce unsuspecting -- you get the idea. If all else fails, she and Clem will bully their gay best friend Justin (Orlando Seale) into forking over the requisite genetic materials.
Through all this, Georgina continues to treat the anonymous donation as a sad last resort -- strange, as all of male London appears to be gay or given to phoning people who are trying to conceive at the most inopportune moments. (It's amazing the species survives.) Meanwhile, boyfriend Zak (Tom Ellis) braves the Irish countryside with a striking, 6-foot blond heiress (Ruta Gedmintas) who is ruthlessly conspiring to keep Zak and Georgina apart.
"Miss Conception" isn't so much a movie as an extended sitcom -- it looks like one, it acts like one, it reduces everything to the lowest common denominator like one. What it does provide is pretty things to look at, including Graham, Kirshner, Ellis and Gedmintas, as well as various houses and landscapes. The outcome of a romanticcomedy is rarely in question but the road taken should contain some surprises. "Miss Conception" is hampered by a rote, workaday script that doesn't ask much more of the actors than going through the motions. A love child it's not.
"Miss Conception." MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content. Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes. Playing at the Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500; Laemmle's Fallbrook 10, 6731 Fallbrook Ave., West Hills, (818) 340-8710; One Colorado Cinemas, 42 Miller Alley, Pasadena, (626) 744-1224.
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