The best baby films
With the arrival of a new baby in the family, born less than a day ago, I thought it a nice tribute to Mylah to look at the best films that are about babies, or at least feature babies as the leading characters.
There are some that spring to mind immediately, and I'm sure that Three Men and a Baby was one of your first thoughts, but there are a few that might not, and they aren't all lovely and sweet, one is even downright evil.
So what films can you think of that have a baby or babies as a central character? I've thought of a few that I would think are perhaps the better ones.
Okay I'm going to start with a weaker choice, how about Junior? I think there will be lot's of people out there saying something none too positive at the screen right now, but Junior was a fun film, really.
Out of all the action stars who attempted to deliver a family film, I think this one worked the best as Arnold Schwarzenegger played the scientist who decided to allow himself to become the first man to carry a baby to term and give birth.
Ivan Reitman delivered a fun and funny film co-starring Danny DeVito, Emily Thompson and Frank Langella. You don't think so? Well it's not viewed very highly by many others, but I still think it's a nice light hearted film that delivers plenty of fun.
Look Who's Talking is perhaps the biggest film in this list, I think this could be the winner as the best film that features a baby, because not only does it feature a baby, it's all from the baby's perspective, and that's something utterly unique.
Well it was unique at the time until they delivered the terrible Look Who's Talking Too, which just did the usual Hollywood unintelligent trick of same again plus more, and then the downright awful (did anyone actually see this?) Look Who's Talking Now, a film which still managed to carry a big cast.
However back to the original. That first film was very clever and did deliver (pardon the pun) something we hadn't really seen before, and it was very well received. Getting John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis and George Segal to lead was good casting, but getting Bruce Willis to voice the baby was just genius.
It tells the story of a baby coming into the world from the moment of conception, through the eyes and mind of the baby itself. He looks back on us grown ups and parents and wonders what we're all up to, looking on us with much simpler, and a far less cluttered mind. Another great fun film.
Three Men and a Baby is another baby film that ranks up there with the best of them, but it again suffers the same Hollywood process of squeezing as much out of a franchise as possible as Look Who's Talking did. Anyway it was the first film that focused on the baby.
The cast are once again surprisingly good here, but it's the chemistry between the lead actors and their different takes on parenting and the baby that are the best features of the film, and do you realise who directed the film? Leonard Nimoy.
Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson play strong roles as the bachelors set into blind panic as they are all left with a baby to look after, a baby that could be any one of theirs. The ensuing antics and obvious heart tugging moments are great entertainment.
I don't know why titles with ampersands in them annoy me, but they do. However that aside I think Jack and Sarah, or Jack & Sarah, deserves the top spot of this list as it's an utterly brilliant film that doesn't rely on the same old story and plot turns as so many of these films do. After all it opens with a funeral and is a really sad film.
There's a quirkiness and quite a hard dose of reality to it all that sets it apart from the films I've mentioned to date, and then there are the performances from Richard E. Grant, Samantha Mathis, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins and David Swift to be considered, and of course the superbly played role of William by Ian McKellen who really does do something rather different and unexpected.
The film tells the story of a man who's wife has died at childbirth and is so distraught and overcome with grief for his wife that he just can't seem to connect or love his child. However the parents band together and push him into caring for her, and before long he starts to bond with her and rebuild his life.
Here we get a fair dose of reality mixed in with great British comedy and lastly we get the romance with very little "tweeness" added in. I love this for the reality it portrays as much as the superb performances, especially from Grant and the others. It will make you cry, of that there is no doubt.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is a thriller that doesn't perhaps feature the baby as prominently as it does the rest, but it certainly is the core of the story, and it's far from the romantic, uplifting fare of the other films mentioned to date, this is a bit darker.
The film sees a family finding a new nanny for their child, not one they were looking for, more one that found them. Rebecca De Mornay plays the nanny that arrives in the couple's home, played by Annabella Sciorra and Matt McCoy. At first she seems to be the perfect nanny, but then events start taking a turn for the worse and she seems to have some reason to want the family destroyed.
The connection to the baby is a bit weaker, but the title, image, and the reason that the protagonist is there in the first place is about the baby. A good thriller, but perhaps not one that stands the test of time, or of this feature.
Rosemary's Baby is the darkest of the bunch, and one that if we're talking quality then this one wins hands down, this is a classic film from Roman Polanski based on the Ira Levin novel and with Mia Farrow giving a great performance with John Cassavetes.
As a young couple move into a new apartment they find that they are gaining odd neighbours and strange things are happening around them, then the wife becomes pregnant and all the time her paranoia is growing. Something is wrong and the odd events and strange behaviour of the people around her is increasing, is she going mad or is something else happening to her and the baby?
This is a classic and shows the far extreme of films with a baby at the centre of them, but I think it might well stand alone for there aren't many horror or thriller films all about babies are there? I did think about The Omen but then he grows up far too quickly and is a child for most of the film, are there any others?
So those are the best films I can come up with that are about babies or have babies as the focus of the film. The question is do you agree? Can you come up with some better suggestions? I already have a couple in my head that could have gone up, I'll leave that to you.