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.