A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Look Who's Talking is a 1989 comedy in which Kirstie Alley gives birth to a baby who is voiced by Bruce Willis. For those who haven't seen the movie in a few years, there's a surprising amount of adult and iffy humor that make this best for teens and older. The movie begins with talking sperm cells swimming to try to fertilize an egg. Alley's character becomes pregnant from a man who's having an extramarital affair with her; much of the second half of the movie concerns itself with the idea that a woman couldn't possibly raise a child without a man's help. During the birth of the baby, the woman is given Demarol, and the baby is shown acting high on drugs. In one scene, the baby calls his mother's date a "d--k," and in another scene, says "I feel like a retard." Lots of the humor is derived from the baby's defecation and urination habits. One of the babies in the maternity ward is Indian and talks in a stereotypical accent. There are lots of sex jokes and innuendo, and occasional profanity, including "f--k" (used once).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
LOOK WHO'S TALKING chronicles the unlikely love affair of Molly (Kirstie Alley), a CPA, and taxi driver James (John Travolta). After finding herself pregnant with the child of her married client, Albert (George Segal), Molly sets out to find Mikey (vocalized by Bruce Willis) the "best daddy." She makes a deal whereby James will serve as her babysitter and then finds herself conflicted. Should she wait around for a hotshot Mr. Right or take a chance with the dashing and exciting (but poor) James? He's a dreamer, but according to Mikey's musings, he is surely a keeper.
Is it any good?
This goofy comedy proved that Americans love talking babies and served as a springboard for Travolta's comeback. While silly and outdated, the film includes underappreciated performances by veteran Abe Vigoda (The Godfather, Barney Miller) as James's senile grandpa and Academy Award Winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck, Tales of the City) as Molly's wisecracking mother. Look Who's Talking also includes a fabulous 1960s/1970s soundtrack that gives Travolta ample opportunity to throw in some classic dance moves.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about who the movie is intended for. What parts were for kids and what's for adults? Do you think this is a family movie? Why or why not?
What are some of the ways in which this comedy from the 1980s has not aged well? What are some other examples of movies from the '80s in which humor is derived from sexism, racism, or inappropriate behavior?
How has the idea of "families" evolved since the time when this movie was released?
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