When baby Mary is left on the doorstep of three bachelors, they are forced to look after it until the mother returns.
This remains the most successful US remake of a French film to date and it’s not hard to see why. The three likeable leads (each thought of as potential break-out leading male stars at the time) play nicely off each other as men stranded with an infant and zero parenting skills between them.
Tom, the architect is the “grown-up” of the family but still doesn’t want to carry the can (or change a diaper), Michael is a cartoonist and ends up playing “mom” most frequently, while Jack, the selfish, ham actor who fathered the child, absents himself as much a possible. Together they share a palatial apartment and an enviable bachelor lifestyle which they begrudgingly yield as they form a bond with the baby. An unnecessary and thoroughly nonsensical drug-smuggling sub-plot is retained from the French version, but the best moments are in the new fathers’ attempts to entertain, feed and change the youngster – a lullaby, the constant bickering over who does what and their disparaging attitude towards each other. When one women expresses surprise that Jack had a baby, Peter dryly replies, “I realize such a concept tends to negate our belief in a benevolent God, but yes.”
- When it was released on video this film became just as famous for reportedly capturing a ghost on film - in the background in the scene when Jack’s mother comes to visit Mary. Sadly, the “ghost” turned out to be a prop (a cardboard cut-out of Danson). Although in retrospect perhaps it was the ghost of Guttenberg’s career which inexplicably petered out soon after this franchise. *
Still charming and watchable. The three leads show their comedy potential.