Bringing Up Baby
Vince Perrin | Stockton, CA USA | 09/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Shrewd advice: Always seek out the original when America decides to remake a foreign film in its own image. The Hollywood moneymaker "Three Men and a Baby" and its unmentionable sequel are, well, laughable alongside the superior French comedy "Three Men and a Cradle" now out on DVD. Men's bonding with children isn't new to cinema ("Kramer versus Kramer"), but treating child abandonment as farce was when this film opened in 1985. It became a big European hit, won France's best film Cesar Award, and got nominated for a Hollywood Oscar. Absolutely delightful describes it best.
Three bachelors in an upscale apartment continue to pursue women and their jobs, deflecting police snoopers and drug dealers, all the while caring for a baby girl left on their doorstep. That's the set-up, which the American remake never got beyond. The movie is really about how gender switching, including diaper-changing and bottle feeding, permits the inner man to express his true self. All of the actors have a sweet sense of ensemble, yet each man bonds with the baby in his own way. If you have to ask how this perfectly charming comedy will end, you have never been a parent.
I fell in love with Roland Giraud... (mild spoilers)
Smush | I'm right here! | 04/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie before the mediocre American remake, THREE MEN AND A BABY, came out, and I'm so glad I did. There's really no comparison.The premise -- three confirmed bachelors taking care of a tiny baby -- seems contrived at first, but the three principle actors, Roland Giraud, Boujenah and Dussollier, deftly handle their characters with humor, intelligence and sympathy. There are some very funny scenes, not so much with the expected gee-I'm-a-man-handling-a-little-baby kind of slapstick but rather the three men arguing with each other and their friends.Best of all, the sweet scenes are never overly-sentimental or trite but instead are gentle and moving. Roland Giraud is absolutely brilliant. MILD SPOILER: The scene in which Giraud comes home to find the apartment ransacked has him running frantically throughout looking for the baby. When he finally finds her, safe and sound, his absolute relief and joy flood from the screen. I fell in love with him at that moment.You'll most likely find this in the foreign film section of your local video store, as I did many years ago, and if you're like me, you'll wind up ordering it. However, lucky you will only pay a pittance compared to the $89.95 I shelled out way back when. Yes, I wanted it that much."
Silly, But Quite Fun
Smush | 04/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1985 French comedy is best known as the source material for the Disney hit Three Men and a Baby, but is quite entertaining in its own right. Pierre, Michel and Jacques, three self-centered ladies' men who share a spectacular Paris apartment, are thrown for a loop when an ex-girlfriend abandons infant Marie--"the fruit of our passion"--on their doorstep. (This is apparently a temporary measure, designed to teach Jacques, the baby's actual father, a lesson.) As you can probably predict, the complaints and bumbling new-dad hijinks are many, and they grow highly attached to Marie...just in time for the mother to arrive to take her back. Or will she?This is hardly a perfect movie--there's a subplot involving drug smugglers and mistaken identity that's particularly clunky and out of place--but it's silly and warmhearted fun for anyone who doesn't mind a movie with a (very cute) baby as the center of the action. No slapstick, just a domestic comedy with a sharply Gallic sense of humor and some surprisingly gentle moments. The actor who plays Michel, and whose character seems to love Marie the most, is particularly good. Recommended."