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Citizen Ruth

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Meet Ruth Stoops. She's homeless, dumb as a cinder block and loves to get high huffing spray paint. Life would be dandy if it weren't for one tiny problem - she's gotten herself knocked up for the umpteenth time, and it seems like everybody's got an opinion about what she should do -from an angry judge to God-fearing Baby-Savers to radical lesbian feminists. And Ruth just wants to party! Laura Dern stars in an award-winning bravura performance backed by a stellar ensemble cast including Burt Reynolds, Mary Kay Place, Swoosie Kurtz, Kelly Preston, Kurtwood Smith and Tippi Hedren. Written and directed by the team who brought you Election and About Schmidt, Citizen Ruth is a hilarious, provocative look at what happens when a sperm meets an egg and sparks fly.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Swoosie Kurtz, Kurtwood Smith, Mary Kay Place, Kelly Preston, M.C Gainey
  • Directors: Alexander Payne
  • Writers: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
  • Producers: Cary Woods Cathy Konrad
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007K028
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,867 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Citizen Ruth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I believe Citizen Ruth, which satirizes both sides of the abortion debate, is one of the best films of the 90s. Laura Dern is perfect as the angry, drug-addicted and pregnant Ruth, who becomes a pawn in the political war between professional pro-life and pro-choice activists. Declared an unfit mother by a court, Ruth is encouraged to have an abortion. She is "rescued" by a swarmy, too-nice couple who, of course, turn out to be fanatical pro-lifers. They embark upon a full-fledged campaign to change Ruth's mind, which includes making her watch a film of a fetus being destroyed. As her case gains publicity, she is soon appropriated by the other side. The pro-choicers turn out to be equally fanatical and ideology-driven. Soon Ruth is being offered money by both sides, to either have or abort her baby. What makes the film work so well is the way Ruth's deadpan street attitude sharply contrasts with everyone around her. She is utterly oblivious to the issues and movements which with they are obsessed. This perfectly illustrates the sharp separation that necessarily exists between causes and real life. Ruth is an actual, if not wholly sympathetic person; to the activists around her, she is only a symbol to be used in their campaigns. Citizen Ruth brings this point home in a way that is entertaining and very funny. It is one of those movies with an extremely unlikely plot that is so smoothly executed that it seems believable as you watch it. While the events portrayed may not be realistic, the emotions that drive them are.
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Format: VHS Tape
One of the most oft-repeated cliches of the pro choice movement is the line "men shouldn't have any say over abortion or a woman's body." Well, director Payne and his co-scenarist Jim Taylor have a LOT to say about abortion, women's bodies and the issues of individuals versus groupthink.
I loved this movie! Laura Dern is genuinely funny and quirky as the slow-witted Ruth Stoops, who finds herself at storm center as a judge convicts her of criminal negligence to her unborn fetus. However, out of court, he advises her to "take care of this problem," sotto voce telling her to get an abortion. Ruth doesn't really care; she just wants to find some Krylon or airplane glue to inhale.
Finding herself in jail, some Christian pro-lifers take her under their wing. Suddenly, she is no longer a rational actor whose free will determines the birth of her baby, but a pawn in a PR war between pro-life and pro-choice zealots. It is as if Ruth doesn't even exist as an individual, and is only important to these fanatics as a poster child for their respective causes.
What I most love about the characterisations of the activists is how Payne shows how removed they are from reality. The pro-lifers (Mary Kay Place and that guy from That 70s Show) are Christian evangelicals who won't even have a TV in their house, hold independent church services at their house and sing horrifyingly bad hymns like "Yes Jesus Loves Me, The Bible Tells Me So" (this hokum is probably the main reason people become atheists; whatever happened to church hymns by Bach or Cesar Franck?) Their clothes are right out of the Monkey Wards 1977 catalogue and they speak in that anti-intellectual sing-song style.
The pro-choicers are just as big a scream.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
This movie is a must present for radical pro-life and pro-choice. I always think of this movie when politicians or people debate this issue. It really shows how it is about the "issue" and not really about mother or a child. It is the greatest portrayal of this highly charged political issue.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great film. When I first saw it I did not get the notion that it was intended as a comedy. A comedy is any play/movie/show that ends well. It can be completely devoid of jokes and laughs. Laura Dern plays an addict who bounces like a ping pong ball through her life, causing damage and destruction. The second and main aspect of the film involves documenting the hypocracies and foibles of the people who belong to the fight in the "Right to Life" . Pro Life and Pro Choice are equally ridiculed so, if you have a view, don't take it personal. At the end of the film, after all the fighting and posturing, Ruth Stoops (Laura Dern) sneaks away from both camps to get away on her own , and ultimately ignores both camps . That is the joke. The big joke, at the end of the movie. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. It makes me laugh everytime I think of it . Just kidding. I like this movie and the actors do a very good job of portraying the ego driven individuals who lead the fight . Burt Reynolds, Laura Dern, Kurtwood Smith, and Swoozie Kurtz were great in this film. For us, possibly, there may be no answer to this seemingly eternal question, but there goes Ruth Stoops , living her life while the opinionated argue.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
January 22, 2014 approaching. Anniversary of US Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
Great time to watch Citizen Ruth which deals with both sides of this issue. Alexander Payne directs. Laura Dern stars. Not to be missed. Payne also directed George Clooney in Descendants (2011) and Bruce Dern (Laura's dad) in much nominated Nebraska (2013).
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