Saturday, November 17, 2007

3 Men and a Baby--Does it stand up to the smell test of time?

Now that I'm a father I find I have less and less time to do the things I want to do, and you can't even talk to my wife about this unless you want to get something thrown at you or hear grumbled epithet's spouted with contempt. A few days ago I expressed this problem to my friend Cody and of course he interupts me from my long winded whiney rant with a completely random thought. He says to me, "Do you think 3 Men and a Baby is an accurate depiction of grown men trying to take care of an infant?" I myself hadn't seen the movie in like, 15 years or so, so I wasn't sure exactly how to respond to that. Who cares about 3 Men and a Baby, my wife and I haven't a had a full night's sleep in months and we constantly have some kind of fluid evacuated onto us in one form or another. What does 3 Men and a Baby have to do with our little challenge? So I thought about it some more, we actually got our little guy into his swing sound asleep, so we thought what the hell let's watch 3 Men and a Baby and see if Cody's question is in any way relevant to our situation.We started the flick and I began to curl my lip at the opening credits as it played the very syrupy and cringe worthy song Bad Boy by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. This was going to be dated and awful, I thought, as they did the typical 80's montage showing Guttenberg as the effeminate and sensitive artist, Selleck as the no-nonsense architect and Danson as the actor/man whore. They are painting their plush NY apartment and date various women to this awful pop tune. If you know the story then you know that Danson's Jack character has a package delivered and in true screw ball style a second package ends up complicating their lives to almost a ridiculous extent. So the baby is dropped off old school style, and of course, it's the man whore's child. To complicate matters Danson's Jack is out of the country on an acting gig, so more hilarity can ensue.

Diapers with extra abosorbency, does it really matter? - Peter (Selleck) discovers the baby and after a few minutes of confusion between Guttenburg's Michael about what the hell they should do Peter decides to go to the store to buy a few things to care for the child. Here is a funny exchange about all of the different formulas, baby food and diapers the poor guy has to pick up. The problem is that Peter doesn't know how old his little tyke is which causes him some problems. Tamar and I, luckily, didn't have this problem cause we got our first batch of diapers from the hospital and because we knew the actual age of our child we were able to buy accordingly. Although I will have to say if I had to buy some of this shit on my own I definitely would end up buying too much stuff and it would almost all of it be the wrong size. Thank God for Tamar! In regard to the diapers I enjoyed this funny little exchange between Michael and

Michael Kellam: Whoa, these diapers are way too big!
Peter: They're ultra absorbent! The more absorbent, the better if you ask me.

Which brings me to my second point on the diapers, Peter and Michael both seem to have a lot of trouble with the diaper tabs. I know the filmmakers probably thought it was really funny but it just made these supposedly intelligent guys look kinda dumb. I mean maybe the diapers in the 80's were complicated to use but it's a pretty simple idea you pull the tabs at the hips and pull it around and stick it to the front, simple, it ain't rocket science. Of course diaper tabs aren't for everyone, apparently dumb as a post Brittany Spears had to explain to equally moronic Heidi Klum what the sticky tabs were even for. (She explained this on Ellen last week.)

Wow this pic says it all--effeminate indeed!
Obscure theories - Tamar had an objection with one of the theories that Peter brings to Michael to try to determine the age of baby Mary. He tells Michael that he had heard that if you feel her teeth or in this case gum line you can tell how old the baby is. Tamar thought this part was crazy and stupid. But for the sake of the experiment I did try to feel his gums and I couldn't really tell how old he was by feeling them. Must be another 80's out of date thing. I mean he doesn't even have any teeth yet and honestly I can't even tell you at this point when exactly he will be getting said teeth. We did appreciate the late night feedings where Peter almost falls asleep while trying to keep a bottle in the kid's mouth. That is very much a reality, even more so for my wife cause she is nursing.

How to Calm a Baby without really trying
- Throughout the film Michael and Peter are always trying to soothe the baby and keep her from crying. This is most definitely an aggravating and time consuming task. You find yourself saying the most idiotic and retarted things just to get a few minutes of peace. Michael tries to comfort the baby with his cartoon character puppet. I tried puppets, stuffed animals my son doesn't seem to really care about any of them. Although the three of them seem to have some success singing to Mary which of course becomes the hallmark scene of the film. So finally you have something that seems to work for five minutes and so you think, "hey maybe this is the trick that'll work all the time!"--that's where you go wrong. You start thinking maybe if I go louder or with a little more pizazz, then you find yourself in complete and total anarchy as the kid, now no matter what you do, will cry at the top of his/her lungs until you have to leave the room to calm yourself down.

How Much Can This F****** Kid Eat!!? - The most true statement that is made in the film is by an exasperated Peter who is trying to explain his confusion about feeding Mary. He says something like this, "The book says to feed them every two hours but it takes her sometimes two hours to eat so I end up feeding her all the time!" Tamar and I are still dealing with this. We feed him. He eats. he spits up. Rinse and repeat. Over and over again and it never seems to end. It's even worse when they are nursing cause you can't really see how much he is eating. So most of the time, especially when he's crying consistently, she gives him the boob and we mostly just pray that he's getting enough from each feeding. I mean you can time him but he's starting to go at his own pace now, so it's even harder to tell. Honestly I don't know how you can ever tell.These were some of the main points that we took away from the film, Tamar and I both really enjoyed watching it now that we are parents and can relate to many of the situations. Of course the later half of the film devolves into the screw ball style as I mentioned before as the gang of three find themselves in the middle of a heroin exchange. This, Tamar and I find, does not happen in our daily lives as we raise our child so we'll just skip over that part. But I will leave with you with what has to be one of the best quotes in the movie:

Peter Mitchell
: There's a quarter of a million dollars in heroin in the diaper pail and the new baby wipes are in the hall cabinet.

Overall it was still cute and funny, and a little strange to have three grown career men swimming with this baby at her swim class when at least two of them are not even related to the kid. Yes there are many sequences here that are dated and make you squirm at it's cheesiness but I think it does stand up to the smell test. Tamar did also ask if at some point I would try to do something similar with the film Baby Boom. I feel confident that we covered everything anyone would need to know to probably avoid having children altogether.

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