Maybe Baby

Sunday, October 07, 2007

You'd think the couple in Maybe Baby would be happy. They have lots of money, good jobs and a luxurious flat. Plus they're unable to conceive. But for some reason the absence of a tubby parasite fills them with a sense of loss. They want to enrich their lives by creating life, they want to share their love with a long-term sperm and they want to start a family. What a couple of idiots.

The most depressing thing about Maybe Baby is the portrayal of marital sex. Is there anything less conducive to producing a trouser tent than talk of eggs and ovulation? And is there anything more soul-destroying than the thought of being reduced to the status of an unthinking, unquestioning sperm-donor? "My egss are done. Screw me," says Richardson's character, as if this is a turn on. Personally, I can't think of anything worse. No longer are these characters having sex out of love, lust or passion, they're screwing with the soul aim of creating a miserable human being that's going to drain them of thousands of pounds, bore them to death with petulant, zit-faced whining and rob them of their sanity, their peace of mind and their faith in humanity. They might as well infect each other with HIV; the long, slow, painful death would be just the same.

To further highlight the madness of the characters in this film, Sam (Hugh Laurie) is pleased when he finds out that his sperm in normal. Personally I could find quite a few benefits of having sluggish sperm. Being infertile would mean that you could have sex with your wife without having to wear a cumbersome rubber cock sock and not fear getting a sprog out of the bargain.

And how could I ever feel sorry for Lucy (Joely Richardson) when she writes a journal to document her pain? "Keeping a journal certainly has helped me. Whenever I want to cry I just write down my thoughts. The only problem is that when I write down my thoughts I just want to cry." Isn't it a tragedy when smug, middle-class cunts can't conceive? I'm just brimming with sympathy.

And to make Lucy an even more hateful figure, she writes things like "I wish Sam could be a little more romantic" while going on about her eggs. Silly twat. And even worse than that, she begins to fall for a taller, darker, more handsome actor that she encounters. And the actor in question is six foot two plank of wood with stubble. This woman deserves a child. She deserves a psychotic hell-spawn with ADHD, Tourette's and chronic explosive diarrhoea.

But it gets worse. Unknown to her, her husband is using her horrible diary to write a horrific film script. But is she pleased that her husband is providing her with some much-needed income? Of course she isn't. She's been 'betrayed'. (And of course she finds out about the 'betrayal' by stumbling onto a film set where her husband is working and where the director of the film is mocking their plight. That's a bit of a coincidence, isn't it?) So in light of this, Lucy throws a hissy fit and leaves her husband. Then she shacks up with the actor and conceives. And then she meets her husband again, who's grown his hair long and has acquired a scruffy beard to communicate his inner-turmoil, and he offers to take her back and bring up the child himself! To hell with this disloyal bitch and this pussy-whipped fool!

Ah, but this being a romantic comedy, things, of course, end happily. Lucy doesn't have the actor's baby and the couple gets back together so that they can enjoy some more joyless screwing. Woo-hoo! What a fabulous ending.

But the whole enterprise is entirely incompetent. The sequence of events described above (the sadness before the not-so surprising happy ending) is merely an attempt to try and inject some tension. Of course, it fails, just as the jokes do. Emma Thompson turns up as some risible dreadlocked pagan half-wit on crack; Dawn French sullies the screen as some 'risqué' nurse who talks about five-knuckle shuffles; and Rowan Atkinson talks about bowel movements. Well, okay, Atkinson was actually kind of amusing. But men fainting after giving injections? Arguments about bums? This is comedy so tired that it should just spare us and drop down dead.

But there was one thing I liked about the film. There was an idiotic Scottish director who talked about a film he wanted to make. "They inject heroin into their eyeballs. They have babies in toilets. They get AIDS. They kill a social worker. They have anal sex in exchange for heroin, which turns out to be cut with bleach and kills them. They have abortions. They're raped by gangs of English policemen." Now that's a film I'd actually like to see.

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