Reviewed by: Gregory Rogers
Starring: Hugh Laurie, Joely Richardson, Adrian Lester, James Purefoy, Tom Hollander | Directed by: Ben Elton | Produced by: Phil McIntyre | Written by: Ben Elton | Distributor: USA Films
Don’t be deceived by my title above. Not that it’s a bad bit of celluloid or anything, but the latest Brit offering “Maybe Baby” does tend to suffer from below-the-belt ruminatings which could obscure the aftertaste for the Christian viewer.
It’s quite a good outing, really, as films go. Sam and Lucy Bell (Hugh Laurie and Joely Richardson respectively) are a thirty-something couple trying desperately—and failing—to have a baby. All this between the general travails of life, which include drastic policy upheavals at Sam’s native BBC, wrought by an inept boss.
Their apparent infertility is underscored by Sam’s current creative barrenness, hit home by the unctuous “Ewan Proclaimer” (a jibe at “Trainspotting”, perhaps?) fellow-writer and apparent rainmaker at the “beeb,” whose vision can only be described as bizarre.
Not to be outdone, Sam bundles together a script to prove he is still up to it. The problem is that the only way he can write it is by stealing titbits from his and Lucy’s private life, even if it means dipping into Lucy’s diary. Thus the “film within the film,” about a couple who are unable to fall pregnant. Predictably, however, Lucy finds out about it and the marriage hits ignominious hard ground.
The strength of the film lies in the script, brilliantly penned by comedy maestro Ben Elton of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Black Adder” fame. The one-liners are hugely original—if risque—and the venture is supported by a great comedy cast which, apart from Hugh Laurie, include Dawn French and Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson as a dotty doctor. Even Emma Thompson makes a brief appearance, breaking her current acting drought. The script also plumbs the depths of the male and female psyche, thus successfully appealing to both sexes in the audience.
On the other hand, I’m afraid, “Maybe Baby” cannot be called a Christian film, and seems to contain every human vice since the sexual revolution. In this respect it tends to suffer from classic British sexual repression. Elton has a great sense of humour, but intrudes into an arena many would find offensive.
A gud’un it may be, but caution is advised.