You may have realised by now that there are a lot of classic ‘popular’ movies that I’ve never seen. This was definitely one of them. 3 Men and a Baby is one of those films I’d heard of and I knew people loved it – for nostalgia if nothing else – and Tom Selleck was the main selling point. Say no more.
The movie itself does exactly what it says on the tin: three male bachelors are shocked and incensed when a new-born baby is left on their doorstep. After a while, they realise which one of them is the father and get a crash course in babysitting, which includes changing diapers and what kind of food to feed babies. As you’d expect, it makes for a pretty funny situation and is pretty much like one long episode of an eighties sitcom.
Now, I’ve seen some pretty 80s shit in my lifetime, but this takes the biscuit for most 80s vibes in one movie. Everything about it is wildly 1987, from the hair to the costumes, to the language and the set dressing. And… I kind of love that about it.
So yeah it’s a little dated. I mean, I’m not sure how well hiding heroin in a baby’s diaper would go down in 2021 for instance. However, it mostly holds up in terms of comedy and is absolutely the perfect time capsule back to late-twentieth century New York. Perhaps the idea of men being clueless with babies is a little outdated too, but it’s still kind of charming to see these “macho men” fall in love with the idea of being fathers.
Even clad in some truly questionable outfits, this movie boasts Tom Selleck at his peak. Though the leads are all brilliant, the true charisma no doubt belongs to him and it feels like he’s the true main character here due to his dynamism. Cheers-era Ted Danson is excellent too, but spends almost half of the movie absent from the screen so doesn’t shine quite as much as I’d hoped he would.
It must be said, the narrative itself is a little basic – three bachelors get bundled with a baby whilst also getting caught in the middle of an awry drug deal. Aaaaaaand that’s it. Regardless of this very minimal premise however, it’s a nice, feel-good piece of storytelling despite it not being exactly life changing or out of the ordinary. Either way, it’s easy to see why 3 Men and a Baby is remembered so fondly even today.
I won’t pretend it’s the best film in the world, but I enjoyed it! Three Men and a Baby is simple in its intentions, but some star power puts it amongst the heights of the very best eighties comedies.
Now excuse me while I go and watch Tom Selleck’s entire filmography.
3 Men and a Baby is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.
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