A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Three Men and a Little Lady is a 1990 sequel to Three Men and a Baby, a 1987 Disney hit that was based on a successful French comedy. A bit more risqué at the time than it might seem today in this era of blended families, the movie presents a biological dad living with co-dads -- his two best friends and roommates. They've been living for years with his daughter, who's 7 when the action begins. Language includes "s--t," "bitch," "penis," and "bastard." A woman throws herself at an attractive bachelor, and a man and woman, fully clothed, kiss. A small child's naked behind is seen during potty training. Little Mary asks what a penis is. There's a reference to "Jack spreading his seed."
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What's the story?
THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY is the comic sequel to the popular Three Men and a Baby of 1987, the highest-grossing box office film that year. Both were based on a successful 1985 French comedy that translated well into two American hits. The first film begins as a baby is left on the doorstep of an apartment occupied by three handsome bachelors. Actor Jack (Ted Danson) turns out to be the biological father, but architect Peter (Tom Selleck) and cartoonist Michael (Steve Guttenberg) quickly fall in love with the baby named Mary. Her actor mother Sylvia (Nancy Travis) returns and moves in with them all, platonically, to raise the kid together. Mary (Robin Weisman) is now 7 and her mom is itching to get married and enjoy some romance in her life. Her decision to marry Edward, a British director (Christopher Cazenove), and move to his ancestral home in England throws Michael, Jack, and Pete's lives into despair over losing Mary. It also wakes Pete up to the fact that he's in love with Sylvia but has been afraid to declare for fear of upsetting the quintet's delicate balance. In England for the wedding, Pete learns that Sylvia's husband-to-be has been hiding from Sylvia his plan to send Mary off to boarding school. It all boils down to Pete making it to the church, with evidence in hand, in time to persuade Sylvia to marry him instead of the director.
Is it any good?
This sequel may not be a work of art, but it's definitely a crowd-pleaser given its winning cast, adorable child, blended family values, and satisfying ending. In Three Men and a Little Lady, Selleck as Pete shows off the charm, warmth, and playfulness that made him a star (he was in TV's hit series Magnum P.I. at the time). Danson of Cheers fame giddily gives an ego-free performance as the self-centered Jack, and Guttenberg, of Police Academy, with far less to do, still provides balance in the trio of bachelors. Travis ably describes the modern woman's balancing act -- career, motherhood, romance -- so that we are all rooting for her and her daughter's fulfillment and well-being.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what "family" means. One type of family is a married mom and dad raising kids; a grandmother raising kids is another type. What are some other types of families you can think of? Who are the people in your family?
Three Men and a Little Lady makes it clear that although a brief sexual relationship created a little girl, the parents didn't love each other enough to get married. Do you think Mary will be happier if her mother settles down with someone she loves? Why or why not?
Do you think kids who have out-of-the-ordinary families will be made fun of and/or be bullied by peers and schoolmates? Why do you think people should be more tolerant of differences?
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