She's Having a Baby (1988)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Feb 5, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Brian J. Dillard

Sweet but preachy, this John Hughes suburban yuppie fable tells a familiar story in the director's typical Chicago locale. Fantasy sequences, musical numbers, and sight gags, however, keep the material from seeming too frayed at the edges. Elizabeth McGovern gives a typically tart treatment to a role that's a little more mainstream than much of her output, while Kevin Bacon makes a likable enough everyman as the new husband and expectant father struggling to make peace with his vanishing youth. Fans of edgier material probably won't flock to this sort of picture, but the film's intended audience -- relatively well-adjusted middle-class husbands and wives -- will find a lot to like in the sweet-and-sour treatment of family angst, romantic discontentment, and workday-grind blues. The film's most effective sequence, however, owes more to its soundtrack accompaniment than to its actual content; British singer/songwriter Kate Bush crafted the resonant piano ballad "This Woman's Work" specifically for the film's climax, in which Bacon's character must wait in the maternity ward wings while his wife suffers through a difficult breach birth. The obligatory tacked-on happy ending seems like a letdown after such a powerful piece of music has lent its emotional power to the lightweight material. This is, after all, a reassuring John Hughes movie, choice soundtrack contributions notwithstanding.