She's Having a Baby

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She's Having a Baby
She'sbabyposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Hughes
Produced by John Hughes
Bill Brown
Ronald Colby
Written by John Hughes
Starring Kevin Bacon
Elizabeth McGovern
Alec Baldwin
Music by Stewart Copeland
Cinematography Donald Peterman
Edited by Alan Heim
Production
  company
Hughes Entertainment
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • February 5, 1988 (1988-02-05)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $16,031,707 (United States)

She's Having a Baby is a 1988 American romantic comedy film directed by John Hughes.

The film portrays a young newlywed couple, Kristy and Jake Briggs played by Elizabeth McGovern and Kevin Bacon, who try to cope with being married and what is expected of them by their parents. Jake must also deal with the fantasy woman of his dreams. The film is about traditional 1980s suburban life and the cultural expectations that come along with it. To a large extent what Jake experiences could be described as a form of culture shock, with his best man Davis (Alec Baldwin) as a reminder of his former culture as a single man, and feeling alienated when he overhears his neighbors converse about mundane suburban topics. He feels he has left the culture of single men, and has entered the culture of a married man, and doesn't appear to have a sense of belonging to either.

Plot[edit]

This film is a look at the lives of Jefferson (Jake) and Kristy Briggs, from their wedding day until the birth of their first child. Beginning on their wedding day, it follows both their lives, but more so Jake's, with his voice over commentaries and several imaginary scenes, based on actual or feared future events.

After their wedding, Jake and Kristy head off for New Mexico, where Jake works towards gaining a master's degree, but leaves before finishing, describing it as "high school with ashtrays". They return to Chicago where Jake, by "setting new records for lying in the job market", impresses his potential employers so much that they give him work as an advertising copywriter. Kristy also gains work as a research analyst, and they are able to buy a "three-bedroom mortgage" in the suburbs.

Jake and Kristy then continue to adjust to their new life until Kristy unilaterally decides to cease taking contraceptives, without telling Jake, until, after several months, she informs him that he has been unable to impregnate her. They then begin a program to assist their efforts to become pregnant, which eventually succeed. The movie culminates with a traumatic yet eventually successful labour and Jake's realisation that his lack of satisfaction and sense of detachment are not due to external factors but his own selfishness and immaturity.

The last scene of the film reveals that Jake's voice over was the new father reading his novel entitled She's Having a Baby to his wife and son.

As the credits roll, there is a rapid succession of suggestions for the name of the baby by numerous cameos including Roy Orbison, Joanna Kerns, Magic Johnson, Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Wil Wheaton, Belinda Carlisle and Kirstie Alley. John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, and Matthew Broderick were in character as Chet Ripley, Roman Craig, and Ferris Bueller during the end credits.

Cast[edit]

Casting[edit]

  • In the black and white fantasy scene where Jake's grandfather says "you'll never end up working on a loading dock", the young Jake is played by Neal Bacon, Kevin Bacon's nephew who was five years old at the time.[1]

Production[edit]

The film was shot in Winnetka, IL and Evanston, IL from September 1986 to December 1986.[2] However, several scenes were shot directly in the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Most of John Hughes's films either take place in Chicago, in the suburbs of Chicago, or are about people going to or coming from Chicago.

Soundtrack[edit]

She's Having a Baby
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released 1988
Genre Rock, new wave
Length 37:10
Label I.R.S. / MCA
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[3]

The She's Having a Baby soundtrack album was released in 1988 on Miles Copeland III's I.R.S. Records label and produced by Dave Wakeling.

The song during the birth sequence is "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush and is featured on her 1989 album The Sensual World. John Hughes is thanked in the album's liner notes. The song playing during the trailer is "Music for a Found Harmonium", a song by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. The song played during the street party is "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" by Marvin Gaye.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "She's Having a Baby" – Dave Wakeling
  2. "Haunted When the Minutes Drag" – Love and Rockets
  3. "Desire (Come and Get It)" – Gene Loves Jezebel
  4. "Happy Families" – XTC
  5. "Crazy Love" – Bryan Ferry
  6. "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby" – Kirsty MacColl
  7. "Apron Strings" – Everything but the Girl
  8. "This Woman's Work" – Kate Bush
  9. "It's All in the Game" – Carmel
  10. "Full of Love" – Dr. Calculus

Cameos[edit]

  • During the end credits, there are several cameos of actors giving suggestions on what to name the new baby boy. Most of these are taken from actors in other John Hughes films and/or projects shot on the Paramount lot during that time. Cameo appearances include: John Candy and Dan Aykroyd from the John Hughes film, The Great Outdoors (though that was done with Universal Pictures), and Bill Murray from the set of the non-Hughes film, Scrooged. Other notable cameos include cast members of Cheers (Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, John Ratzenberger, and Kirstie Alley) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (Wil Wheaton).
  • Filmed at the same time as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.[4] Kevin Bacon has a cameo in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles trying to get a taxi from Steve Martin. Also, there is a scene in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles where Steve Martin's wife is watching television in her bedroom, and, although you can't see the image, the audio is from the bedroom fight sequence of She's Having a Baby.

Reaction[edit]

The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics and has 34% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes based on 38 reviews.[5]

In An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder director Kevin Smith cites She's Having a Baby as his favorite John Hughes movie. He also cites it as a template for Jersey Girl, joking that both movies were financially unsuccessful.

References[edit]

External links[edit]