“Uh-oh. My water broke.” (Cue Sirens)
This is basically the way every labour and delivery plays out in film. Water breaks, husband freaks out, baby is born 20-30 minutes later. If only! In Hollywood, pregnancy, labour and delivery is all glory no guts (and we know, there’s a lot of guts). But, it is Hollywood and the job of the cinema is to show us a more polished version of life—right? Something familiar, yet not all together the same…something, somehow more shiny than real life. Sometimes, the movies are funny, sometimes they’re scary, and most often, they’re teaching us something about ourselves that we didn’t even realize we needed to learn. With this in mind, I want to share with you my top 5 Pregnancy movies.
Juno (Ellen Page) is a young girl who gets pregnant and decides to give her baby up for adoption to a local couple while exploring the relationships that are built with that family, her parents and her hapless love interest. This Oscar winner has it all—great dialogue, awesome indie soundtrack and some real, honest emotion relating to the unknown and the tough choices we make when we find out we’re pregnant.
Father of the Bride pt 2
Ah, Steve Martin. The doting dad losing his baby girl to her husband returns in this sequel dealing with the fact that he’s becoming a grandfather (and father again!). I love this movie. You don’t always get to watch as the men go through the existential parenting crisis and Martin here is amazing—sweet, charming and funny but always willing to help the women he loves get what they want. Martin Short’s Franck Eggelhoffer character is also one of my favourites (best line: “Every party has a pooper, and the pooper here is you sir!”) Just a cute movie about life’s little curveballs and how to come to terms with not always getting what you want (aka parenthood).
Pregnancy and parenthood isn’t all doting dads and indie teens. This movie, based on the novel by Ira Levin is essentially about all the terrifying unknowns of pregnancy and parenthood wrapped up in a devil worshipping bow. Mia Farrow’s most famous role sees her as the “chosen one” to carry the spawn of Satan, as worshipped by her Uptown Manhattan neighbours. Scary, iconic and a thinly veiled allegory for the fears all first-time parents face.
Stay with me on this one. The HR Geiger designed Alien is neither male nor female, but needs a host (human/mammal/not one of its own kind) in order to spawn…and that “chestburster”…isn’t that exactly what we fear delivery will be like: a terrifying creature ripping itself from the confines of our bodies all blood and gore and goo? The writers of this movie set out to create a terrifying birth/pregnancy using space and aliens as the backdrop, and they succeeded.
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Pregnant. Comedy aside, I’ve always thought this was an awesomely funny representation of a what a dad goes through in the 9 months leading up to the birth of a new baby. And come on….it’s Schwarzenegger and he’s pregnant!
What about you? What is YOUR favourite pregnancy movie?