For whatever reason, Baby Boom was always on TV during the holidays when I was a kid, whether it be Easter or a bank holiday, it would be on and I always watched it, every time. So you could say I grew up with this film, it is my idea of a perfect cosy Sunday afternoon movie.
I am a huge fan of Diane Keaton and I’m pretty sure it stemmed from this, I have just re-watched the film for the first time in a number of years and realised for the first time one of the big reasons I love this film; Nancy Meyers. She wrote and produced this film and you may be familiar with some of her other stellar work; Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, The Holiday, to name a few. I don’t think there is a Meyers film I don’t like; she is one of those reliable filmmakers that I know I can count on to deliver. She always attracts great performers; having worked with Keaton a number of times, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Helen Hunt, Mel Gibson, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and more recently Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. That’s some list, her scripts are always so satisfying; full of humour and heart and happy endings. I have never finished a Meyers film and been disappointed, always happy, and uplifted. Baby Boom was directed by Meyers then husband Charles Shyer and it starred alongside Keaton, Sam Shepard, and Harold Ramis.
The premise for the film is a simple one, Keaton plays J.C. Wiatt, a workaholic putting in 70 hours a week and on the fast track to becoming partner at her New York firm. Her life is turned upside down when she inherits a baby girl from a distant relative. She has no idea what to do with a baby and has no mothering instincts, which is where the comedy ensues. Her first thought is to give up Elizabeth but she can’t leave her with the weird couple that the adoption agency comes up with. Her life begins to change as she tries to keep up with work and tackle the pressures of motherhood.
The second half of the film takes J.C. and Elizabeth to a tiny Vermont town, population 319, where J.C. has bought a house with 62 acres sight unseen. It turns out there are rather a few issues with the house, plumbing and roofing to name a few, draining her resources and leading to J.C. ending up in the town Vets, mistaking him for a doctor and unburdening herself of her problems. Said vet is Sam Shepard who though entering the film two thirds of the way through is a great romantic partner for Keaton. The film then takes another plot turn and is where it gets its title, the gourmet apple sauce that J.C. has been making for Elizabeth; the only thing she has been able to do during the inhospitable Vermont winter is a huge hit and she has a growing business on her hands. This could take her back to New York a self-made success.
This film is all Keaton, there is a reason her name is above the title, it displays all her comedic talents already honed to perfection. She is one of those actors who it is a real pleasure to watch, her body of work is diverse but it is the comedies and romantic comedies such as this that are her greatest contribution to cinema. I love everything about this film; the cast, the setting, the story, I adore the score; its always been a personal favourite. Re-watching this brought with it all the nostalgia of years past and I loved it as much as I always have. If you haven’t seen this gem I urge you to give it a watch, you won’t be disappointed.