31 August 2001 | mcfly-31
pass on this 'baby'
Back in 1988 it must've seemed like Armegeddon was near as...John Hughes was actually gonna write a semi-serious movie! Now, a year earlier he had veered into non-teen territory with "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. But had kept the laughs constant enough that it really wasn't a film about adults. But after a five-year whirlwind run of success, which featured seven of the more memorable films of the decade, he was able to get greenlighted his pseudo-life story. Die hard fans of him like myself will easily spot how this mirrored his hug(h)e rise. An aimless newlywed (Bacon) goes through the usual pains of accepting adult responsibilities, becomes an ad-man, really wants to be a writer, and somehow makes the dream work. All the while cliches abound around him; a father-in-law who hates him; neighbors who yap endlessly about their lawnmowers; and a wife who is pressuring him to be a father. A better title might've been "He's Having a Cow", as the film is more about Bacon than anything else. As someone else mentioned, the baby portion of the film doesn't happen till nearly the end, and after it's born, here come the end credits. Hughes scores here and there with this, but mostly it's jumbled, all too traveled ground we've seen in other movies. Plus his flights of fancy, where he incorporates incredibly out of place daydream segments that just confuse. The big lawnmower sequence had me perplexed; was this Bacon getting an idea for an advertisement, or him hopped up on something? Someone else also brought up that McGovern's character is hardly familiarized with the audience, and when she is, can be overbearing or loud and angry. And you could tell Hughes was going for an ethereal moment of drama in the end as he has Bacon soaked in white light with creepy music playing, as he waits for his wife's delivery. But it doesn't come off because we hardly care for these characters who have meandered through a dopey adventure until that point. Even the familiar celebrity faces during the end credits are disappointing, as none of them take it seriously and offer up one idiotic name after another (Aykroyd's alien monikers are especially stupid and painfully unfunny). For better expectant baby fare, check out Hughes' graduate Molly Ringwald in "For Keeps", a much better (and very Hughes-ish) film on the subject.