Making the Grades
Nine Months' creator, Chris Columbus, probably had his biggest break when he teamed up with John Hughes to direct Home Alone 1 and 2. After viewing Nine Months, it seems that Columbus has dedicated his career to emulating Hughes' use of slapstick violence in an attempt to create comedy, with the usual result of a story that has potential, yet produces a movie full of ridiculous characters doing implausible things.
Dysfunctional is the best word to describe many aspects of Nine Months. The story revolves around an unmarried couple, Samuel (Hugh Grant) and Rebecca (Julianne Moore), going through their first pregnancy. She's excited, but he just can't cope with the concept of being a father. Fortunately, San Francisco is a small city in this movie, and they happen to meet another couple, Marty (Tom Arnold) and Gail (Joan Cusack), every fifteen minutes, who are expecting their fourth child, and make a good case for people requiring a license to become parents.
As typical in movies involving childbirth, all males are imbeciles. Marty and Samuel wind up in a fight with a guy in a dinosaur suit at the toy store; their doctor (Robin Williams) has never delivered a baby before and can only speak enough English to get himself embarrassed; and then there's the big finish in the delivery room, where the men get into another fight as Marty tries to videotape both births, which of course are happening at the same time.
After you shovel your way through the needless violence, you may notice the more than seventy useless obscenities and many sexual situations. Samuel can't accept the fact that pregnancy may alter his intimate relationship, and he keeps dreaming that Rebecca is a praying mantis and will devour him after making love. Finally, in keeping with the Home Alone style, the film attempts to try and say something nice amidst all the garbage, hopefully convincing the audience that their attention was worth the time. What we have instead is a laboring plot that refuses to deliver.
Note for Canadian Readers:
The only surprise with this movie is the "G" rating provided by the Canadian Home Video Industry which averages the ratings provided by the provincial ratings boards when the movie was in theatres.