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Jack And Sarah Review

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When Jack (Grant) loses his wife (Stubbs) during childbirth, he is stricken with monumental grief, and rejects his new baby daughter. But his family rally around, and soon he embraces her, but requires professional assistance. Enter Amy (Mathis), a spirited American nanny who while maybe not completely qualified, seems like the perfect fit for the new family.

★★★★★

Films, it must be said, don't come much soppier than this sweet and funny romantic comedy of father-baby love. The eponymous Jack (Grant) loses his lovely wife Sarah (Imogen Stubbs) in childbirth, plunging him into a sea of tears and booze. He won't even see his daughter, Sarah Jnr., until the formidable double act of his mother Judi Dench and mother-in-law Eileen Atkins conspire to abandon him with the naked, squirming, adorable bundle. Naturally, paternal instinct kicks in, triggering a charming, mirthful binge of the helpless pop getting to grips with baby care.

Grant is smashing, wonderfully funny and touching as a grieving man juggling career and infant, with superior back-up from Atkins, Dench, David Swift as his dad and Ian McKellen as the local tramp who moves in to keep house. And writer-director Tim Sullivan has grasped perfectly the irresistibility to women of an attractive man sporting a papoose pouch.

Where this gets iffy, however, is in charting the lengthily predictable progress of romance after the introduction of accident-prone, argumentative and idiotic American nanny Amy (Mathis) with whom bickering will turn, via mutual baby bonding, to love. It's a predictable outcome, and a shame because Jack's relationship with his baby loathing boss (Lunghi) could have been far more interesting.

Ultimately it's a charming crowd-pleaser and liable to inspire a new, post-Sleepless In Seattle wave of women reading Obituary columns in the hunt for emotional widowers with children.