Thursday, March 23, 2006

Baby Boom

In this 1987 film, Diane Keaton plays J.C. Wiatt, a woman who has successfully climbed the corporate ladder. She has the money, the beautiful house, and the wealthy man. As her boss informs her, though, when he is promoting her to partner, no one can have it all. No woman, at least. Yet another portrayal of the complicated gender war of the 80's, Baby Boom gives a comprehensive view of all the subtle messages being shoved at J.C. Just one wrong move and she could lose everything to the man close on her heels in the company.

The wrong move turns out not to be a personal choice at all. J.C. inherits a baby from a distant cousin overseas who dies in a tragic accident. Unfit to be a mother, she struggles to do everything from a diaper change to simply holding the child without dropping her. She thinks she has found the solution when her boyfriend finds the clause in her cousin's will allowing her to give the baby up for adoption. Despite the practical advantages of this decision, her heart won't let her do it (especially after meeting the scary prospective parents). J.C. decides to become a mother after all.

Losing her boyfriend and her job as a consequence, J.C. makes a drastic move from NYC to rural Vermont, where she and her new daughter, Elizabeth, must survive the snowy winter in a rundown house. Every personality in the town of 319 people is unique, and the plumber whom she has to call several times is particularly hilarious. Though she is the unhappy outsider for awhile, J.C. finally finds her place in the town, meeting a handsome veterinarian and stumbling upon a baby food business accidentally.

Being the "chick flick" that it is, this movie has a happy ending, and it also happens to be a morally satisfying one. The sexist men she once worked with get what they deserve, and we see that the mother and the working woman can truly be one in the same.

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