Baby Boom is a fine comedy and the highest film on my list starring Diane Keaton. My VC doesn’t really like her as an actress, but she still likes the movie overall. Keaton gives a nicely frazzled performance as J. C. Wyatt, an experienced career woman who’s inexperienced at child rearing, and this role seems to fit her, considering she’s never married or had kids but has adopted.
The film tries to make some kind of statement about women and the important pieces of life that are often ignored for the sake of a career, namely love and children. This message succeeds mainly in showing that a baby does indeed ”change everything” and that, regardless of all the headaches they may put parents through, the adorable love they offer makes up for it all, as J. C. realizes.
Nonetheless, I was disappointed that the adult “love” department consisted mainly of just sex. At the beginning she’s living with a guy (the late Harold Ramis in a great bit role) who clearly doesn’t love her enough, and by the end, she’s…again living with a guy (Sam Shepard) who may be more kind and understanding but could still be there for the short run. Thus, the film endorses the benefits of raising a child but gives no such esteem to marriage, which used to come first. Call me old-fashioned, but this just bothers me.
The main strength of the film is the comedy. Some of it is a tad annoying, such as the supposedly professional businesswoman J. C. turning into a frenetic klutz once the baby arrives to distract her; it’s no wonder her bosses demoted her. Other scenes are classic. Her interviews with various nannies possibly influenced a similar scene in Mrs. Doubtfire six years later, and the handyman’s incessant “Yeps” and “Nopes” remain a running gag in cartoons and my everyday speech to this day. It’s a shame that J. C. probably couldn’t have started her business in our presently over-regulated country (trust me, I’ve tried to start a business), but it was encouraging to see her efforts rewarded, however unrealistically. Add that to J. C.’s awesome mental breakdown and the satisfying ending, plus the lovely Vermont countryside and the light-hearted Bill Conti score (which are both definitely reminiscent of the then-current show Newhart), and Baby Boom becomes one of the enduring comedies of the 1980s.
Best line: (you guessed it, the laconic handyman’s immortal line for almost every question) “Uhh, yep” and “Uhh, nope.”Artistry: 6 Characters/Actors: 7 Entertainment: 8 Visual Effects: N/A Originality: 8 Watchability: 9 Other (brief language and aforementioned issues): -3 TOTAL: 35 out of 60
Next: #262 – Won’t Back Down
© 2014 S. G. Liput