Plot: What’s it about?
J.C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton) seems to be on the fast track to the good life, with a terrific job, steady boyfriend, and just about anything else she could want. But as she soon discovers, things can change in the blink of an eye, which is just what happens in this case. She learns that a relative has passed on and she has an inheritance involved, which J.C. assumes is a cash grant of course. But this is not an issue of money at all, instead she has been left with a baby girl, who loves to whine and cry all the time. As if this wasn’t enough, when her boyfriend finds out about their new addition, he packs up and leaves J.C. behind. This pushes her too far, so she takes the baby to an adoption center, but her conscience gets to her and she just brings the little tyke back home again. Soon after, J.C. is fired from her job thanks to the baby and since she is fed up, J.C. decides to purchase a cottage in the rural area, to escape the harshness of the big city. Can J.C. and her new friend survive on their own, or will J.C. be forced to give up on her hopes and dreams?
This movie has the 80’s written all over it, but in the end, Baby Boom is still a decent enough flick. I like the dated look and feel of the movies made in this time period, but I know folks detest it, so I wanted to make sure they knew this was soaked in that era. I don’t think Baby Boom is that smart or touching so much, but it does have some funny moments and there’s enough of them to make this worth a look. Diane Keaton is in fine form in the lead here, backed up by such performers as Sam Shepard, James Spader, Harold Ramis, Sam Wanamaker. Again, I don’t think the supporting roles are that impressive, but they do well enough to bolster Keaton when she needs it. I think this one has some elements that will appeal to almost all viewers, but perhaps this is best suited for females, as I think they could relate to this material a little better. So this is more than worth a rental, if you’re in need of a decent enough comedy. But if you’re a fan of the film, the low price and new widescreen transfer are enough to warrant a purchase.
I’ve seen her in a ton of flicks and while her choice in movies doesn’t always work for me, I think Diane Keaton is a terrific performer. She seems to gravitate toward these estrogen laden pictures, but even the most jaded chick flick hater has to see her skillful turns. I don’t know that she could work in a wide variety of roles, but in these normal woman type parts, she excels and this performance is no exception there. These days, she’s even taken to directing movies, but I hope she doesn’t leave her acting days behind her just yet. Other films with Keaton include The First Wives’ Club, Father of the Bride, Annie Hall, The Godfather, The Other Sister, and Manhattan. The cast here also includes Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters, Stripes), Sam Shepard (Thunderheart, The Right Stuff), Sam Wanamaker (Raw Deal, The Spiral Staircase), James Spader (Crash, The Watcher), and Mary Gross (Troop Beverly Hills, Casual Sex?).
Video: How does it look?
Baby Boom is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. I am pretty sure this is the first widescreen transfer for this film, which is a good notion, but I am let down it isn’t 16X9 enhanced. This results in more edge enhancement than I’d like and in a few cases, that becomes distracting. But the image looks better than the laserdisc, with brighter colors and starker contrast, although not by much in truth. Most scenes look natural and pleasant, but some get bogged down by the shimmering and edge enhancement, which could have been avoided with a new anamorphic presentation. But fans should be pleased, as this is the best home video edition out there, even if it could have been much better.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included 2.0 surround track is up to task, as this film uses little audio outside of dialogue. The musical soundtrack is not one of my favorites, but it comes across well here and helps keep the ears entertained. There isn’t much here in terms of sound effects, but the ones that do surface sound solid, but not as rich as a more action driven film would allow. The dialogue is the heart and soul of this mix and it sounds terrific, very crisp and clean, always at a proper volume also. Not much else to discuss here, a basic surround track that more than handles this material. This disc also includes a French surround track, as well as French and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.