BABYFEVER is a Henry Jaglom movie, and his movies are an acquired
taste. Probably the best of them was ALWAYS (1985) which should not be
confused with Spielberg's ALWAYS (1989) with Holly Hunter. Jaglom's
ALWAYS was a pseudo-documentary about the signing of his divorce papers
and has a subtitle of BUT NOT NECESSARILY FOREVER. He has a weekend
long party and invites his soon to be ex over along with all of their
friends. It was one of my favorite movies of the 80s.
Jaglom's movies star his friends and relatives. The star in
BABYFEVER is his wife, the actress Victoria Foyt, and BABYFEVER is her
only movie. Jaglom's style is that of a homemade documentary where the
actors and actresses are told to act like they are not acting. His
plots are usually semi-autobiographical. In BABYFEVER, he was the
director, writer, producer, and editor. He did not appear in the movie
which surprised me since he is usually in his pictures.
BABYFEVER is a movie about women, especially those over 35 or 40,
who get an obsession with having a baby. The movie has 12 starring
women plus 3 men who appear in minor roles. Almost all of the movie
happens during a 2 hour baby shower. There is a movie within the movie
of a documentary of the women talking one-on-one with the camera about
their inner thoughts on wanting a baby.
To add a bit of comic relief, there is a side plot about the
"rich" husband whose house is being used for the shower. It seems he
is a real estate wheeler dealer who has many possession but a large
negative net worth. It implodes on him during the shower.
The movie within the movie is great. The women are very funny and
insightful with many great lines. Most of them talk about how much
they want to find a man so they can have a baby and how their
biological clock is running out on them. Some of the best lines
include a woman who says she feels like going to the supermarket and
shouting over the loudspeaker "Attention shoppers, attention shoppers,
I am ovulating now, I am ovulating NOW!" Another woman, says that when
a guy asks her out to dinner, her thought is: "Dinner, I don't need
dinner. I've tried that - it does no good. That is not what I want, I
want a baby." There is another scene where the women argue about who
has the fewest number of eggs left. These one-on-one interviews are
fascinating, and I can easily recommend this part of the show.
Most of the movie however consists of the awkward acting and
dialog of the shower itself. This part is trite and tedious. The
wheeler dealer subplot is kind of a nice diversion but nothing special.
As someone who was married for 20 years before deciding to have a
child (and succeeding), and someone who spent many years unsuccessfully
trying to have a second, I can really identify with the issues
discussed. All of the techniques, operations, and drugs they discuss
may sound foreign to some, but sounded familiar to me.
It is a close call, but I can not recommend the movie because the
main part was too banal and poorly acted. Rent it in a few months and
watch only the interviews. Overall, I rate it **.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes