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movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Junior

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito
Director: Ivan Reitman
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 110 Minutes
Release Date: November 1994
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Emma Thompson, Frank Langella, Pamela Reed, Judy Collins, James Eckhouse, Aida Turturro, Welker White

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

JUNIOR is the story of a scientist (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who, as Jenner did with his small pox vaccine, decides to be a human guinea pig for his own medicine. His medicine is for controlling pregnancy hence he must have an egg planted in himself and actually get pregnant to prove his drug works. And thereby make himself millions from the biotech industry.

His partner is an OB/GYN played by Danny DeVito. The fellow scientist working on frozen human eggs is played by Emma Thompson.

As a person who had a recurring dream when he was in his 20s that he was pregnant, and as one who loved the director's (Ivan Reitman) last movie (DAVE), I was really looking forward to JUNIOR. The set up of the plot is fascinating. It is cast with great people, and it had terrific trailers.

This is a single joke movie. We have an increasing larger and very realistically pregnant Schwarzenegger as a caricature of a pregnant woman. He gets to utter every cliche possible. People tell him he looks "radiant". He complains to DeVito that he doesn't take him out of the house enough. He stuffs himself silly on ice cream, pickles, Chinese food, and the entire contents of the refrigerator. It works okay for the first 5 minutes and then you start checking your watch. I don't blame Arnold - an actor I absolutely love. It is the scriptwriter's and the director's fault, not Arnold's.

DeVito plays DeVito. In general he is hot and cold as an actor. In JUNIOR he is not believable or funny as an obstetrician.

The sad part is that Emma Thompson, whom I think is brilliant, is totally wasted in this movie. It is frequently embarrassing watching her. She has no dialog worth remembering. They have her doing one sight gag after another. Typical ones are where she falls asleep on her cheese sandwich and wakes up and talks to people not realizing she has a large piece of cheese stuck to her cheek. In another she dances with her paper napkin stuck to her high heel shoe until while trying to shake it off she throws the shoe onto some one's table. Gosh, I sure had some belly laughs over that original material.

On the good side, you get to see a lot of scenes of Berkeley's Life Sciences building plus beautiful images of living in the best parts of San Francisco.

I give the show a single * and do not recommend it. It is correctly rated PG-13 for adult themes. It runs a very long 1:50.

**** = One of the top few films of this or any year. A must see film. *** = Excellent show. Look for it. ** = Average movie. Kind of enjoyable. * = Poor show. Don't waste your money. 0 = One of the worst films of this or any year. Totally unbearable.

REVIEWED WRITTEN ON: November 23, 1994

Opinions expressed are mine and not meant to reflect my employer's.

Copyright 1994 Steve Rhodes

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