Kyle J. Steenblik

Adopting Trouble is a Fantastic Lighthearted Dark Comedy

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Adopting Trouble
Directed by Lee Gardner
Written by Blake Casselman and Lee Gardner
Starring: Ryan Templeman, Heather Murdock, Ariana Escalante, Clint Vanderlinden, David Harris, Danny James, Charan Prabhakar, Priscilla Poland, James Christian Morris, Bosco Edjamboya, Elizabeth Golden, Leanna Pareja
A Rare Legend Films Production
Runtime 98 minutes
Blu-ray/DVD/digital release date 11/27/2018
rated PG-13.
4 stars out of 5
A married couple, Nick and Maryanne, are determined to start a family, but discover
they can’t due to medical reasons, and are unable to adopt due to Nick’s status as a convicted
felon. Desperate, they turn to Roach, a no-too-bright criminal entrepreneur from Nick’s past who
concocts a plan to kidnap pregnant Andrea, a career-driven, single woman who is scheduled to
have an abortion. Instead of letting Andrea go free, the conservative and Christian-minded
Maryanne convinces Nick to keep Andrea in their basement to see the pregnancy through instead
of giving her another opportunity to terminate it, even though Roach has other plans for Andrea
and her unborn child.

Adopting Trouble is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining micro-budget independent films I’ve had the pleasure to watch. Packed with lively humor and strong performances it is set apart from its peers, beginning with a strong script and talented director, and ending with an impressive production value for its budget.

I have had the opportunity to watch many passion projects from independent filmmakers. When considering these films, I must view them with a different lens than I would a film from an established studio and filmmaker. The first thing I consider is how creative budget restraints force a director to get, and how this lack of resources impacts the finished product. These are the elements of these films I am often most impressed with, and also the weakest links. It can highlight the potential of a director or shine a spotlight on what they lack. With that said, Adopting Trouble director Lee Gardner shows tremendous potential to produce great films in the future, and screenwriter Blake Casselman—who worked with Gardner on the script—can turn out a resonant engaging story with clever dialogue.

A lighthearted dark comedy which revels in its humor and goof-ball plot and cast of characters. Adopting Trouble is a gem of a film and a prime example of how a strong script and a talented director plus time and passion are more important than budgets.

Rare Legends Films (, announced the November 27, 2018 digital, DVD and Blu-ray release of Adopting Trouble, a micro-budget comedy feature film about a convicted felon and his wife that kidnap a pregnant woman as part of a scheme to force her to have her baby for them.
During its film festival run, Adopting Trouble was awarded a Platinum Remi (highest award) for Comedy Feature Film at the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, and won the Best Narrative Film Award at the Covellite Film Festival in Butte, Montana. Additionally, the Houston Broadcast Critics Association nominated it for Best Film and lead actor Ryan Templeman for Best Actor among feature-length films screened at Worldfest 2016. Adopting Trouble also received the Best Narrative Film Award at the Covellite Film Festival in Butte, Montana.


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