Saturday, October 13, 2012

My One-Sided Twenty Year Love Affair With Elizabeth McGovern Continues...: "She's Having a Baby" (1988)

John Hughes opted to leave the teen angst of the mid 80's and made a film about grown-ups. This film scores as many universal truths as "Sixteen Candles" did.

Maybe because I married three days after my twenty fourth birthday to my twenty year old girlfriend. Maybe because we waited five years to have our first baby. Maybe because my now ex-wife had complications with both our children. Maybe because I always fancied myself a writer, and life was temporary until I scored that first sale. All of these ingredients combined to make this light comedy close to my heart.

There is not really a plot here as there is a series of vignettes that many newly married couples go through. Jake (Kevin Bacon) and Kristy (Elizabeth McGovern) met in high school, and got married young. Davis (Alec Baldwin), Jake's best friend, continues sowing his wild oats and pining for Kristy. Jake and Kristy have incredibly awful parents-in-law, highlighted by Kristy's father Russ (William Windom), an almost evil man (thankfully, my ex-father-in-law is a saint). Jake has doubts about his choice when a girl keeps turning up in his life and dreams. Davis makes a sad pass at Kristy during a visit. Kristy stops taking her birth control pills without telling Jake, and she gets pregnant. Jake narrates the film, voicing his insecurities over his life after he backs into an advertising copywriting job while still writing his great American novel. Complications ensue during Kristy's delivery, and Jake must reevaluate everything.

Bacon and McGovern have an incredible chemistry, and look the parts. Hughes throws in some very funny scenes- including a block party populated by every annoying neighbor you have ever had. The film moves quickly, but has a lot to say about young married life.

Unlike Jake and Kristy, my wife and I divorced. But I have two great kids, and I still hold onto my dream of finishing something and selling it, resulting in my two weeks notice on my overnight job at Target.

"She's Having a Baby" is very funny and very true. I completely bought the concept because I lived the concept. (* * * * *) out of five stars.