Top Five Movies About Babies
Filed under: Funny Stuff
You know those mildly amusing talking babies in the E*TRADE commercials? Well, fans take note: Those sarcastic little infants are going to be starring in their own feature film. Really.
As entertainment projects spun-off of commercials generally tend to suck (the GEICO Cavemen), and talking baby movies have, for the most part, not yielded the best results ('Look Who's Talking' is not as funny as you remember, and 'Baby Geniuses' is just plain awful), it's fair to predict the forthcoming E*TRADE baby movie won't be racing for any Oscars. However, babies and celluloid can be a potent mix, producing belly laughs and heartfelt emotion. After all, the foibles of a new parent juggling the responsibilities of caring for an infant are made for comedy. ParentDish Canada counts down the Top Five Baby Flicks.
5) Three Men and a Baby (1988)This movie is no 'Citizen Kane,' but it's charming, if dated (and a tad sexist). Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg play three bachelors (an actor, an architect and a cartoonist, respectively) who share a swanky New York apartment. Their lives consist mostly of enjoying the good life and wooing women until someone plants a baby on their doorstep, with a note indicating that Danson's character is the father. All sorts of silliness ensues as the tiny tot cramps their swinging style (watch for the obligatory dopey dad diaper-changing sequence and their cute lullaby rendition of 'Goodnight, Sweetheart'). Just as little Mary win their hearts, the three leads win ours. I ask you, what child of the 80s could resist the nostalgic charms of Sam Malone, Magnum P.I. and that guy from the Police Academy movies?
4) The Hangover (2009)
Though this movie is certainly not all about the baby, some of the funniest moments of this riotous bachelor-party-gone-bad flick involve a mystery infant, found in a trashed hotel room the morning after the night before. It's the 'Three Men and A Baby' concept on steroids, with hilarious alt-comedy weirdo Zach Galifianakis taking on the central mothering role. He names the tyke Carlos, carries him around in a Snugli and shields his eyes with a pair of cop shades (you can even buy the t-shirt, if you are so inclined). But fans of family fare take note, this ain't your traditional cute-baby flick. If you're not down with profanity, debauchery or male nudity, you might want to skip back to #5.
3) Jack & Sarah (1995)
A temperamental London lawyer (Richard E. Grant) loses his wife during childbirth and goes on a booze bender, leaving his new baby in the care of the grandparents. In a gesture of tough love, the elders drop the baby off at his house forcing him to man up and face his responsibilities. With the help of an ex-alcoholic (Ian McKellan) and an American nanny with dubious childcare skills (Samantha Mathis), he manages to bond with baby Sarah and get back to living again. Sure, it's heavy on the schmaltz, but fine British actors like Grant, McKellan and Judi Dench elevate it beyond mushy melodrama. And little Sarah, played by twins (as is customary in baby-heavy films) is just plain adorable.
2) Raising Arizona (1987)
This cult classic is arguably the funniest Coen Brothers flick. Like all their films, it's full of offbeat characters, over-the-top acting and quirky dialogue. It's set in the modern American west, with appealing performances by Holly Hunter and Nicholas Cage (if only he'd go back to idiosyncratic films like this one rather than the formulaic blockbusters he sleepwalks through these days). Hunter and Cage play an infertile policewoman and an ex-con who decide to expand their family by snatching one of the "Arizona Quints", the quintuplets born to a local furniture store king. Craziness ensues as the kidnapped babe is pursued by a mean motorcycle-riding bounty hunter, in addition to a couple of Cage's meddling prison buddies (one is played with cartoonish glee by John Goodman). It's a nutty caper flick with a big heart.
1) Baby Boom (1987)
Diane Keaton is utterly charming as J.C. Wiatt, a Manhattan career woman thrust into motherhood when she inherits a baby. Wiatt attempts to be that mythical 80s "Supermom" and have it all: Keeping the career train on the tracks while struggling to feed, diaper and entertain her precocious young charge. Concerned for her job, the frazzled new mom considers giving Elizabeth up for adoption, but falls hopelessly in love with her little girl (in a way every parent can relate to). The movie is also a neat foreshadowing of the hyper-parenting trend that is so prevalent right now: Two upper crust mothers compare their toddlers' packed schedules of French, violin and Gymboree, while another yuppie mom bemoans the fact that her little prince didn't get into the fancy-schmancy private preschool of choice. Check out "The Center For Brighter Babies" - classic! Though the film is dated (Wiatt's transformation from harried mama to mom-preneur is a little too perfect), it's funny and whimsical and a must-see for any woman who's juggling work and parenthood.