Nine Months

on July 14, 1995 by Danenberg
Based on the French film "Neuf Mois," "Nine Months" is a charming but predictable comedy about the perils and pleasures of impending fatherhood. Recent real-life arrestee Hugh Grant stars as Samuel Faulkner, a self-absorbed but likable San Francisco child psychologist who's terrified of having kids of his own. When his live-in girlfriend Rebecca (Julianne Moore) becomes pregnant, their ideal yupscale relationship is tested.
   Samuel's support for Rebecca's pregnancy wanes when it's suggested he trade in his beloved two-seater Porsche for a family car. When Samuel misses a joint doctor's appointment, Rebecca concludes he isn't ready for fatherhood and moves out. Miserable and alone, Samuel receives a variety of advice from his swinging-single friend Sean (warmly played by Jeff Goldblum) and an obnoxious married and multiply-childed couple (Tom Arnold and Joan Cusack) who conveniently appear whenever the script requires. Realizing his selfishness, Samuel apologizes and marries Rebecca. The film ends with a cliched race to the hospital and an over-the-top delivery room scene with Grant, Arnold and Robin Williams (as a bumbling Russian-emigre veterinarian-turned-obstetrician) providing more slapstick than the Three Stooges.
   "Nine Months" is spirited, but it lacks the poignancy and exuberance of director Chris Columbus' previous film, "Mrs. Doubtfire." Instead of discovering humor while exploring character, Columbus resorts to broad farce and cartoonish pratfalls. Such juvenilia served his 1990 hit, "Home Alone," but here they're a poor substitute for insight and depth. Despite Grant's immense charm and some heartfelt moments, "Nine Months" is a momentary twinkle. Eric J. Starring Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore, Tom Arnold and Joan Cusack. Directed and written by Chris Columbus. Produced by Anne Francois, Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe and Michael Barnathan. A Fox release. Romantic comedy. Rated PG-13 for language and sexual innuendo. Running time: 102 min.
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