3 out of 5
Directed by: Amy Heckerling
This has got to be one of the most harmless movies ever made. It goes into that pile with ‘Big’ and other such 80s / 90s fare that may have some adult themes and some swears, but is generally something in heavy rotation as a flick that you watch with your parents, and that you laugh at when they laugh, and get the gist of jokes even if they’re aimed at experiences beyond your current kid ken. I mean, the sperm swimming toward the egg thing that opens the film had to be explained to me at the time; the whole pregnancy experience got knowing laughs from my mom; but the linking of scenes makes these connections wholly obvious anyway, and everyone mugs to the camera at the right times to keep it all on the up-and-up. Director / writer Amy Heckerling should certainly be credited with balancing what could be a bawdy romcom tone and tones of sex jokes with family-friendly flair, and it’s agreed that the baby voiceoverness (provided by a shuckin’ and jivin’ era Bruce Willis) probably wasn’t necessary for the movie to work, though it’s a cute shtick that helps fill in some exposition gaps that probably would’ve cluttered up the adult characters’ lives, and also gives us that Beach Boys’ scored opening animation of the aforementioned sperm-invasion sequence – the various sperm also all getting voiceovers as they race to their destination – which pretty much sets the “don’t take any of this too seriously” agenda right from the start.
Mollie (Kirstie Alley) gets pregnant by a married man; his eternal promises of leaving his wife fall through and so she’s on her own for the labor, escorted in a dash by meet-cute candidate taxi cab driver James (John Travolta). They’re a cute opposites-attract couple from the get-go, but Heckerling puts us through our paces of delaying that inevitability, and thankfully avoids any obnoxious tactics like squaring off jealous dates against one another or whatnot. But I referred to the movie as harmless, and along with it’s general one-size-fits-all approach, that also means it’s – no pun intended – toothless. There’s nothing deeper to be mined here about single momdom or child rearing, it’s just a comedy with some cute actors and funny lines and smooching.