Marriage. Hardest game in the world according to John Hughes’s excellently written and well acted comedy drama.
Aspiring writer Jefferson Briggs, played with neurotic brilliance by Kevin Bacon ("Footloose
") has doubts about getting married, following his dreams and living a so-called normal life. He almost backs out on his wedding day, after talking to his best friend and "...unsanctioned wife", Davis McDonald (Baldwin); but a couple of years down the line, and Jake’s living alongside insane, intrusive suburbanites who go on about lawnmowers, his book's nowhere near completion, whilst both his parents/in-laws are pushing for grandchildren...
And as if that wasn’t enough, philosophical philanderer Davis returns from N.Y. to remind Jake of the good old days and how he should’ve stayed single and had some fun.
She’s Having A Baby is an amusing essay about the pros and cons of married life and probably the most serious film John Hughes has ever made. I thought the whole dream girl scenario was a little overdrawn, whilst the childbirth scene itself is very long and occasionally veers off into sentimental melodrama.
That said, it’s a testament to Hughes and his actors, that by then, we care too much about these people to notice how clichéd that part of the movie actually is. With one of my personal favourite end credit sequences of all time, She’s Having A Baby is a film which successfully manages to blend humour, romance and drama without being too syrupy, and hey, if Jake Briggs can sort his life out, then maybe there’s still hope for the rest of us!
One of Hughes’s best and most well rounded movies, She’s Having A Baby employs all the classic Hughes techniques we’ve come to and know and love: personified imagination, surreal imaginary and insightful voiceovers; a story which works on many levels and allows the actors a chance to bring something of themselves into the material, consequently taking the movie to new heights.
One thing to remember here is that it isn’t like "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off", it’s not always funny HA HA, there’s no pouting prom queen, no forgotten birthdays, isolated kids, detentions or GM cyber-babes: it’s... Well, grown up and it was John Hughes’s final tribute to the 80’s; an era he practically owned by involving the audience and writing some great movies which still stand up today.
As for the players? Kevin Bacon (probably the world’s most underrated actor) is excellent as usual, Elizabeth McGovern sometimes goes a little over the top but does well with a difficult role, whilst the supporting cast consistently adds to the hilarity.
However, it’s Alec Baldwin who really impresses, surprisingly, the man turns in a charismatic performance spliced with laconic cool, comic timing and a real sense of poignancy. I’d even go so far as to say, that next to "Glengarry Glenross", this is the greatest performance of Alec’s career. An excellent movie, which is occasionally, and unjustly, overlooked in favour of Hughes’s teen comedies, "She’s Having A Baby" is very well written, acted and directed: A real 80’s classic.Notice any mistakes? Review
Great humour, feelgood performances and truthful pathos.
Excellent end credit sequence.
Cynics may not approve.Our rating:
9.5 out of 10Review Written by Kashif Ahmed: Contact | More Reviews by Kashif Ahmed