She's Having a Baby

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She's Having a Baby
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Hughes
Produced by John Hughes
Bill Brown
Ronald Colby
Written by John Hughes
Music by Stewart Copeland
Cinematography Donald Peterman
Edited by Alan Heim
Hughes Entertainment
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • February 5, 1988 (1988-02-05)
Running time
106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[1]
Box office $16 million (domestic)[2]

She's Having a Baby is a 1988 American romantic comedy film directed and written 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.

Critical reception was mostly negative, and the film was not a financial success.


This film is an existential look at the lives of Jefferson "Jake" (Kevin Bacon) and Kristy Briggs (Elizabeth McGovern), 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 voiceover commentaries and several imaginary scenes based on actual or feared future events. Jake asks his best friend, Davis McDonald (Alec Baldwin) before the wedding if he thinks he'll be happy, to which his friend says, "Yeah, you'll be happy. You just won't know it." This is the underlying theme of the movie, Jake's existential crisis of, "Is this all there is? Is this really my life?"

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. Jake wants to be a writer and tells his bosses this, which amuses and threatens one boss who had failed at ever writing a book. Kristy also gains work as a research analyst, and they are able to buy a "three-bedroom mortgage" in the suburbs; while their lives are typical, they do not do many things out of the ordinary. Jake's best friend suddenly visits after not seeing him for two years, which causes the two to both envy one another's lives, and to also reaffirm their own. Davis tells them that his father has died, and Jake and Kristy are supportive, allowing him to stay the night. Things take a turn for the worse when Davis makes a physical pass at Kristy, by trying to get her bathrobe open and proclaiming his feelings, but Kristy turns him down, telling him that she is in love with Jake. Meanwhile, Jake begins fantasizing about having an affair with a mysterious young French model, who is wise beyond Jake's years.

Jake and Kristy then continue to adjust to their new lives 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. Kristy knows who she is and what she wants in life and seemingly always has. Jake feels pressure, from society and from his wife, to have a child. He doesn't know what he wants. The couple begins a program to assist their efforts to become pregnant, which eventually succeed. They inform their parents of this, and while all are overjoyed, Kristy's mother casually informs them that she had a difficult birth with Kristy and nearly died. The movie culminates with a traumatic yet eventually successful labor and Jake's realization that his lack of satisfaction and sense of detachment are not due to external factors but his own selfishness and immaturity. Jake is called into Kristy's hospital room, worried, but she smiles at him, stating that she wanted to be the one to tell him that they have a son.

The last scene of the film reveals that Jake's voiceover 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.



The film was shot in Winnetka, IL and Evanston, IL from September 1986 to December 1986.[3] 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.


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
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[4]

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


  • 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) , Star Trek: The Next Generation (Wil Wheaton), and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (Matthew Broderick). The teaser trailer appeared on the January 1987 video release of Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), but the film was not released until over a year later, due to John Hughes having problems editing the film during post-production.
  • Filmed at the same time as Planes, Trains and Automobiles.[5] Kevin Bacon has a cameo in that film trying to get a taxi from the main character, Neal Page (Steve Martin). Also, there is a scene where Neal'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.


The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics and has 36% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes based on 39 reviews.[6] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave She's Having a Baby a mixed 2 stars out of 4. He wrote that the film "begins with the simplest and most moving of stories and interrupts it with an amazing assortment of gimmicks," being salvaged only by strong performances from Bacon and McGovern.[7]

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.


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