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Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti play a couple struggling with infertility in Tamara Jenkins’s funny, moving drama.

Infertility is painful and maddening for the couples forced to grapple with it. But in Private Life, writer-director Tamara Jenkins (The Savages) finds humor amid the struggle and uses it as a way to frame a marriage, one that’s become consumed by the attempt to have a child.

The result is a wise, often surprising comedy about pain, love, and makeshift families. It irreverently locates the funny side of the pain — injecting hormones into buttocks, having to deliver semen samples for IVF, readying the house for a home visit from an adoption agency — without making light of those experiences. Private Life is an accessible and complex portrait of two people whose ardent shared desire for a child leads them in some unconventional directions, and it’s a joy to watch whether or not you’ve shared their experience.

Private Life is the story of a couple that wants a baby more than anything

Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) — whose biblical namesake despaired for years over her failure to conceive — and Richard (Paul Giamatti) are in their 40s, New Yorkers who met while working in theater and who want more than anything to have a child. After experiencing heartbreak following a botched adoption attempt, they’ve been trying in vitro fertilization, a process that has rendered them both a ball of nerves (not least because of the hormones involved).

IVF is expensive and exhausting, particularly in the hands of an obnoxiously peppy doctor (Kelly Miller) who likes to fist-bump and say, “Boom!” way too much. It involves the humiliation of shots, probes, and gowns for a procedure that may not even work. And they’ve kept the whole thing a secret so as to not jeopardize Read More Here