A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie, which features a male character who becomes pregnant, is probably not for younger kids who are still asking, "Where do babies come from?" Some kids might also be disturbed by the fact that chimpanzees, which are used in fertility experiments in the film, are shown in cages in a laboratory. However, the movie does not depict any animal abuse, unless one counts the fact that the chimps had to co-star in a mediocre film.
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What's the story?
In JUNIOR, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays scientist Alex Hesse, who agrees to test an experimental fertility drug on himself. So far he has only tried Expectane on chimps, but when the FDA prohibits further study on actual women, Hesse's partner, obstetrician/gynecologist Larry Arbogast (Danny DeVito), convinces him to undergo a procedure in which Arbogast injects an embryo into Hesse's abdomen. Hesse then takes regular doses of Expectane and industrial-strength shots of female hormones. The result, while biologically outlandish, is pretty predictable. As "Junior" grows in Hesse's belly (and he responds to all those hormones), he gets in touch with his feminine side, transforming from a reserved, unemotional scientist to a sensitive, warm, er, mommy-to-be.
Is it any good?
Watching Danny DeVito administer a sonogram to the bulging belly of Arnold Schwarzenegger should probably be hilarious, but it may leave some viewers screaming for the Demerol. Hearing Schwarzenegger say the equivalent of "I'm keeping my baby" is good for a mild chuckle, sure, and it's somewhat touching to see his character thaw. Still, the comedy is more likely to induce cringes than belly laughs, which is too bad, given what director Ivan Reitman has done with movies like Stripes and Ghostbusters. And let's face it -- it's kind of creepy to see Schwarzenegger's muscled torso expand into an inflated pregnant belly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Dr. Hesse decides to "keep the baby." How does the experience change him and make him a better person overall? They can also talk about comedies they really enjoy. What do they have in common? What kind of humor do they use? How are they effective at making you laugh? Is there an element of the absurd in everything that's funny?
- In theaters: November 23, 1994
- On DVD or streaming: December 15, 1998
- Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Emma Thompson
- Director: Ivan Reitman
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 109 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sex-related humor.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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