Sunday, January 25, 2015

Movies for Expecting Parents

If you are an expecting parent like Kira and I, you might be in the mood for films that reflect the moods you are going through. For this article I asked my wife, Kira, to assist me by coming up with five movies that she feels are gems for expecting parents and I would do the same.

Ryan’s List

5. A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child - One of the weaker of the Freddy Krueger films, this one has the unique charm of using an unborn child’s dreams for Freddy to kill his victims. The kills are original and the set pieces are inventive. It is bizarre but also sort of a novel concept for the franchise to go in this direction. Still, it is worthy of watching and certainly worth a mention.

4.  Juno - Winner of an Academy award for Best Original Screenplay, Juno is the story of a young high school girl that becomes pregnant and wants to give the child up for adoption. The dialogue is witty and the situations are both comical and moving.  Juno is a very human character and her story arc is fascinating. Both pro-life and pro-choice viewers have embraced the film.

3. Saved! - Much like Juno, Saved! tells the story of a High School girl who becomes pregnant. It is mostly the reactions of her friends and loved ones in the Christian school backdrop that make this an entertaining movie. It is a biting satire on the hypocrisy of churches and the way people ostracize those that are different. For a teen comedy it comes off very genuine and addresses its material with the respect it deserves.

2. Children of Men - In a world where all humans are sterile there is very little hope to survive. Theo, played by Clive Owen, finds out there is a refugee woman who is pregnant and he must keep her safe.  The movie is incredibly well shot and portrays this dismal future in such a way that you want the characters to overcome the incredible odds they must face. The movie causes a vast amalgam of emotions from horror to a crescendo of hope.

1. Rosemary’s Baby - This movie is, at its core, about a woman’s desire to control her own pregnancy.  However it tells it in the guise of a smart psychological thriller. Rosemary and her husband move into an apartment with some strange neighbors living nearby. After a night of bizarre dreams Rosemary finds she is pregnant. She also becomes increasingly paranoid, as she doesn’t know if the threats she faces are real or imagined. It is a classic movie that everyone should see.

Kira’s List

5. Junior - Arnold Schwarzenegger gets pregnant- ‘nuff said. For those of us who love a good fish out of water story, watching Schwarzenegger’s character, Alex Hesse, battle nausea, raging hormones, and binge eating is just what the doctor ordered.  Sure, you’ll need to overlook a majority of the medical anomalies to enjoy this movie, but underneath you’ll find it’s charm and awkward entertainment.

4. Nine Months - Nine Months is the story of an unmarried couple who find themselves expecting a baby. Rebecca Taylor, played by Julianne Moore, is excited to take on her new role as a mother while Samuel Faulkner, played by Hugh Grant, is not as enthusiastic. Their story is a familiar one with miscommunications that lead to conflict, inevitably ending with understanding and forgiveness. The simple storyline isn’t what does it for me though; it’s really Tom Arnold that steals the show. His character, Marty, delivers a blunt view on raising children and provides welcomed comic relief. We can’t forget Robin Williams who plays a foreign OBGYN with a huge language barrier.

3. Father of the Bride 2 –The exacerbated George Banks returns as the loveable character you knew him from in the first film, Father of the Bride. In the sequel, his quirkiness is escalated as he finds himself simultaneously becoming a father and grandfather. Steve Martin does a great job portraying a man overcome with happiness for the birth of his first grandchild and overwhelming terror of becoming a father again at such a late time in his life. As an expecting mother, I enjoyed watching two women of wildly different ages grow belly bumps and prepare for impending childbirth.

2. For Keeps – This is known as Molly Ringwald’s last role in a teen film and one of her more mature roles for sure. Ringwald’s character, Darcy, becomes pregnant during her senior year of high school by her boyfriend of the same age, Stan. We watch the couple journey from being teenagers who get married and optimistically assure themselves they are ready to raise a child, to struggling with post-partum depression and threats of divorce.  This is a grim look into the reality of high school pregnancy long before MTV exploited the issue.

1. Fools Rush In – A one-night stand that leads to a shotgun wedding. This movie delivers Matthew Perry as the awkward, uptight personality we all love. Perry’s character, Alex Whitman, is forced out of his comfort zone when he impregnates and marries Isabel Fuentes, played by Salma Hayek. Both characters help each other grow into better people and inevitably win the hearts of their in-laws.  Set in Las Vegas, this movie is a fun, over-the-top blend of cultures.

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