NINE MONTHS tells the story of a man and a woman who are
celebrating their fifth anniversary of living together. As is so
popular today, the couple is living together without being married and
hence are being subsidized by those of us foolish enough to admit to
our government that we are.
A child psychologist, Samuel (Hugh Grant) and a ballet teacher,
Rebecca (Julianne Moore) are the unmarried, childless couple. Samuel
is head over heels in love with Rebecca and feels that they are living
in a state of bliss that is "dangerously close to perfection". Rebecca
asks him if he "wants more". He thinks she means food, but she means
kids. As luck would have it, her birth control proves to be "three per
cent bloody ineffective".
Upon learning of the coming baby, Samuel panics, but Rebecca turns
joyous. Samuel, in a running series of sight gags, keeps visualizing
her as a praying mantis coming after him since he is told that the
female praying mantis eats her male after a successful mating.
Although crude, this reoccurring scene manages to be funny every time.
Their human gynecologist (Robin Williams) is a recently immigrated
Russian animal gynecologist, and Rebecca is his first human patient.
Williams is hilarious. He mispronounces every term possible and
manages to keep the audience in stitches with every joke.
The director of the movie, Chris Columbus, has done many good
movies, but my personal favorites of his are MRS. DOUBTFIRE and
ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING. In NINE MONTHS, I am sad to report, he
delivers a highly uneven movie. Sometimes the jokes work and other
times, they are quite tedious.
The script, also by Chris Columbus, is based on a French movie of
the same name. Columbus's script oscillated between great humor and
mean spiritedness. The worst example being when two of the men
starting using a baseball bat to violently beat a man in a Barney type
The script did shine in parts. The ride to the hospital being the
best. It was fresh, fast paced, and enormously funny. For an inside
joke, watch what is on the movie marquee when they race past it in one
of the scenes. Finally, if you see the picture, stay through the
credits, and you will get to see the baby pictures of all of the stars.
Several of the characters were so obnoxious that every time they
were on the screen you wanted to stare at your feet. The entire Dwyer
family was in that category. Marty Dwyer was played by Tom Arnold at
his absolute worst, and Gail Dwyer was acted by Joan Cusack who gave a
miserable performance. The Dwyer children could be poster kids for
Planned Parenthood. Finally, Jeff Goldblum, playing a relative of the
Dwyer's, was at best watchable.
In addition to the excellent acting of Williams, I thought Grant
and Moore were both quite good and believable. Everyone knows Grant's
work, but people may not be familiar with Moore's. She was at her best
as Yelena in VANYA ON 42ND STREET - a don't miss movie in my book.
NINE MONTHS runs 1:43. The scenes not involving the Dwyer family
were well paced. All traces of the Dwyer family should have been
obliterated. I give a mild thumbs up to NINE MONTHS nevertheless. The
two lead characters plus Williams were worth going to see. I award the
movie ** 1/2.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes