Three Men and a Little Lady

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Three Men and a Little Lady
Three men and a little lady.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEmile Ardolino
Produced byTed Field
Robert W. Cort
Screenplay byCharlie Peters
Based onTrois hommes et un couffin
1985 film
by Coline Serreau
Josann McGibbon
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyAdam Greenberg
Edited byMichael A. Stevenson
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • November 21, 1990 (1990-11-21)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$71.6 million

Three Men and a Little Lady is a 1990 American comedy film directed by Emile Ardolino. It is the sequel to the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby. Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson reprise the leading roles.


The three men – Peter, Michael, and Jack – are living happily together with Mary, who is now five, and her mother, Sylvia. Peter and Michael continue their careers as an architect and cartoonist, while Jack has very few acting roles. Sylvia has become a famous actress and is dating her director Edward who wishes to marry her, but Sylvia is unsure how it will affect Mary. Sylvia and Peter are clearly in love with each other, although Peter has difficulty admitting his true feelings. When visiting, Sylvia's mother advises her daughter that Peter may never be able to properly express or admit his true feelings. Sylvia, realizing she wants to get married and start a real family, accepts Edward's marriage proposal and announces to the group she and Mary will be moving to the United Kingdom after the wedding.

The group invites Edward to a get together at the apartment. Peter tells Edward that he has no experience with children and believes he won't be a good father for Mary. When Edward leaves, Sylvia confronts Peter about his behaviour, leading to a falling out when Sylvia tells Peter he is selfish and Peter reminds Sylvia about abandoning Mary during the events of the first film.

Sylvia and Mary leave the next day for the UK. This depresses Peter, Michael and Jack, who attempt to cheer themselves by renewing their bachelor lifestyle and throwing a party, but still find themselves miserable without Mary or Sylvia. The gang decides to go to the UK to visit Mary, who is miserable and lonely without them. Peter and Michael (Jack plans to fly over later) are reunited with Mary and Sylvia at the rehearsal dinner. Peter is introduced to Miss Elsepth Lomax, headmistress of Pileforth Academy for Girls, who takes a liking to Peter. Edward leads her to believe that Peter has feelings for her, but has difficulty admitting them. Peter and Sylvia reconcile, apologizing for their previous behaviour.

With the wedding fast approaching, Peter is troubled to hear Mary reveal that Edward dislikes her. Peter and Michael realize that Edward intends to pack Mary off to the Pileforth boarding school, but Edward denies everything and Sylvia refuses to believe Peter, knowing he has disliked Edward from the beginning. In the middle of the argument, Jack arrives and Sylvia and Edward leave. Jack confronts Peter about his true feelings for Sylvia, and Peter finally admits he always expected Jack and Sylvia would reconcile and he ultimately would have caused everyone to get hurt. Jack assures Peter that Sylvia loves only him and he must be true to his feelings.

The day of the wedding, Peter goes to Pileforth in an attempt to get proof of Edward's scheme. Miss Lomax believes Peter is finally admitting his "feelings" for her and attempts to seduce him, but Peter manages to get away. When his car breaks down, he calls Jack and Michael, confirming he has the proof, but he will be delayed. Michael, Jack and Mary conspire to stall the wedding. Michael kidnaps the vicar and Jack disguises himself as an elderly replacement. Peter, with help from Miss Lomax, heads to the wedding and during the ride, she confesses that Edward informed her of Peter's affections. Peter reveals that Edward made it all up, but apologizes for the misunderstanding.

Peter and Miss Lomax arrive at the church after numerous delays. He confronts Sylvia with the truth, Miss Lomax herself confirming that Edward has been lying. Edward admits the truth but states it is too late as they are already married. Jack then reveals himself – not only has he finally proved his acting skills, but the marriage is null and void. Edward reveals his true colors when he calls Mary a "little shit" to her face and Peter in turn punches him.

Sylvia declares her intention to go home, but Peter stops her and declares his love for her. They wed with Mary as their bridesmaid.



Filmed on location in New York and the United Kingdom, the scenes in the latter location were primarily shot in Banbury in north Oxfordshire. Particular use is made of Broughton Castle. The scenes where the car breaks down and Peter makes a call from a phone box are shot at Burton Dassett Country Park, in south Warwickshire. The school which Mary was to attend (Pileforth Academy) was shot at two locations. The external shot of the school is the Jesuit boarding school Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire. The internal scenes of the school were shot at the (former) Benedictine boarding school Douai School near Thatcham, West Berkshire.


Critical reaction to the film was mostly mixed to negative.

Critic Paul Brenner of Rotten cited the film as "treacly," whilst many others on the site have stated that a sequel was not necessary.[1]

Andy Webb of The Movie cited enjoyable parts of the movie, viewing the unusual family life of having three fathers as a main entertainment factor.[2] Critics Rita Kempley and Desson Howe of the Washington Post also spoke positively of the film, citing the three main characters' comical rap, the race for Peter to stop the wedding, and the relationship between him and Miss Lomax as the movie's most enjoyable scenes. However, Howe also criticized it, claiming Ted Danson and Steve Guttenburg were overshadowed for the remainder of the film.[3][4] has criticized the DVD for not having any special features or so much as a trailer.[5] Although Emile Ardolino's death in 1993 prevented him from providing any form of director's commentary, with no commentary provided by the actors or the crew, the site stated that overall, purchasing the DVD if one already owned a VHS copy of the movie was unnecessary.

The film currently holds a rating of 29% based on 14 reviews on Rotten,[1] and holds a rating of 5.1 stars out of ten on based on 13 critic reviews.[6]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed US$72 million.[7]


One of the most widely recognized tracks from the film is "Waiting for a Star to Fall" by Boy Meets Girl, which featured during the final wedding scene and end credits.


In June 2010 it was announced that Disney was interested in filming a third film, tentatively titled Three Men and a Bride.[8] As of 2013, the film is still listed as being in development.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

Early TV comedy sketch parodies of Three Men and a Baby included a famous sketch on In Living Color where Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard are played by David Alan Grier, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Tommy Davidson.

Movie Sponsorship[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Three Men and a Little Lady". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  2. ^ "Movie Review: 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990) starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, Nancy Travis, Robin Weisman, Christopher Cazenove, Sheila Hancock, Fiona Shaw directed by Emile Ardolino - on The Movie Scene". 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  3. ^ "'Three Men and a Little Lady' (PG)". 1990-11-23. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  4. ^ "'Three Men and a Little Lady' (PG)". 1990-11-21. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  5. ^ Thespia. "Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)". Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Thursday, June 3 2010, 09:29 BST (2010-05-28). "Movies - News - Selleck confirms 'Three Men' sequel plans". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  9. ^ "Tom Selleck: 'I think Three Men and a Bride is a good idea'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 31 July 2014.

External links[edit]