…and a little child shall lead them.
This film combines three old formulas, Girl Hates Boy on First Date; Fish Out of Water; and Baby Changes Adults for the Good, and yet the three stars, Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel as Holly Berenson & Josh Lucas as Eric Messer, bring a freshness and energy that makes this an enjoyable film for both guys and gals. Set up for a date by their mutual friends, Holly takes an instant dislike for Josh when he shows up late attired in clothes more suited for motorcycling. And that is just what he intends to take her out on, even though she is dressed in a cocktail dress. End of date and of relationship.
Fate, or God, has other plans for the pair. Both of them are godparents to baby Sophie, the adorable daughter of their mutual friends. Thus when her parent’s die in a car crash, the godparents are shocked to learn that in the will they have been made guardians of the infant.
Although it is a little much to believe that the two parents, otherwise shown as open and responsible people, have never spoken of their plans for Sophie’s welfare in the even of their demise, once we get over this hump, the film is a fun-filled affair, even though most everything is predictable. How Holly and Eric coordinate their complicated schedules to care for Sophie (played by three delightful siblings at various ages), and, even more, how they eventually set aside their mutual hostility while learning how to care for the child, is enjoyable to watch. John Lucas as a kindly pediatrician to whom Holly is attracted, and Sarah Burns as the caring social worker who breaks out in tears when it appears that Holly’s plans will not work out, add a great deal to the tale. Maybe there are no great revelations about life and its meaning, other than the odd couple learning of the importance of a family, but the film is worth a couple hours of your time.
1. What are the characters like when we first meet them? Especially Eric? What kind of a guy would show up for a first date as he did? How do they change?
2. Compare this to other baby or child movies in which the little one works transformation of a character. (Such as Three Men and a Baby; Baby Boom; For Keeps; and the wonderful foreign film Kolya.)
3. How has a baby/child changed your life? Is the experience of the stepparents in this film similar to any of yours?
4. What moments of grace do you see in the film? We were reminded by Hillary Clinton’s book of the African proverb,” It takes a whole village to raise a child.” How do the scenes of the neighbors in the film bear out this proverb?