Three Men and a Baby

 
(i)

 

Coasts on the charisma of its three stars.
  • Review Date: October 18, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The entire premise of the movie rests on the assumption that women are somehow natural parents while men must learn. The bachelors sleep around; the baby (abandoned by its mother) was the product of one such fling.

Violence

Some violence regarding a drug dealer is discussed but not seen, though it is implied that the heroes and baby are in danger.

Sex

The bachelors sleep around. The baby was the product of one such fling.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Subplot about heroin smuggling.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, despite its light premise, this film is rife with adult material and themes. The movie opens with a montage of women arriving at and leaving the bachelor pad shared by the three main characters, with the clear implication that they're not there to deliver cookies. The bachelors sleep around. The baby (abandoned by its mother) was the product of one such fling. In relation to a heroin smuggling subplot, some violence regarding a drug dealer is discussed but not seen. It is implied that the heroes and baby are in danger. The entire premise of the movie rests on the assumption that women are somehow natural parents while men must learn.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Three swinging bachelors deal with and learn to love an infant left on their doorstep in THREE MEN AND A BABY. A gorgeous apartment on Manhattan's upper west side is shared by three bachelors, architect Peter (Tom Selleck), actor Jack (Ted Danson) and comic book artist Michael (Steve Guttenberg). Their world is turned upside down when they find baby Mary in a basket at their door. She has been left there for Jack by her mother, who had a fling with him a year earlier. Because Jack is out of town shooting a movie, Peter and Michael try to learn about parenting as quickly as possible. While they think they will be happy to hand the task over to Jack when he returns, they find that they have enjoyed being fathers. When Mary's mother returns to reclaim the baby, all three men are unwilling to go back to their old lives without Mary.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A huge hit when it was first released in 1987, Three Men and a Baby really doesn't get as many laughs as it should from its premise. In 1987, Selleck, Danson and Guttenberg were major stars, and familiarity with their usual personas (Danson is simply playing a variant on his character from television show Cheers) was a major factor in the film's success. But the film hasn't aged very well. The time-consuming subplot pitting the three dads against a heroin smuggling ring completely clashes with the rest of the film. Nor does Leonard Nimoy's flat direction add anything.

Parents will enjoy watching these three self-confident guys crumble when faced with the demands of childcare, and kids will laugh at their unsuccessful attempts to keep a clean diaper on baby Mary, but there are too few such moments spread out over the course of the film. Surprisingly, the sequel Three Men and a Little Lady is a bit better.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this movie's premise. Do you think it is correct -- men must learn to parent and women are born knowing how? Did you question that assumption while watching the film? How do such assumptions and premises affect viewers' perceptions? Do you think this filmmaker meant to influence how viewers see parenting? Or was it simply a convenient plot device? Is it okay to use stereotypes or false assumptions to drive a movie's comedic action?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 25, 1987
DVD release date:April 2, 2002
Cast:Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, Tom Selleck
Director:Leonard Nimoy
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:parental guidance suggested.

This review of Three Men and a Baby was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bymvrck June 7, 2010
 

Too dumb to believe

How did this movie, which contains a bestiality scene among other things, EVER get such a benign rating?
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent Written byStepMomSterToo January 11, 2011
 

Silly movie with some bad language

There are some drug references and some bad language. I loved this movie as a kid. I won't show it to my kids, but not a bad movie for teens. They probably won't be interested. Not a must see. I still like it, though.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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