Review: ‘Neuf Mois; Nine Months’

Game thesping propels the contrived and predictable plot of "Nine Months," a broad comedy about pregnancy that feels like waiting out the gestation period of an elephant. Auds who warm to the characters will find some belly laughs. Pic is procreating lots of little francs at French wickets.

Game thesping propels the contrived and predictable plot of “Nine Months,” a broad comedy about pregnancy that feels like waiting out the gestation period of an elephant. Auds who warm to the characters will find some belly laughs. Pic is procreating lots of little francs at French wickets.

Pic plays up nausea, bursting bladders and other full-bore discomforts with Gallic frankness, while examining the nine-month ordeal from the expectant father’s p.o.v.

The message that pregnancy is a physically disgusting and anguish-riddled experience gives way to the stale revelation that it’s all worth it when the bundle of joy arrives.

Interpreter Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu announces to her older shrink b.f. Patrick Braoude (who also scripted and directed) that she’s pregnant, freaking him out.

His pal, painter Patrick Bouchitey, has just broken up with his wife since she wants kids and he doesn’t. Bouchitey’s sister, buxom and bulky Catherine Jacob, is expecting a fourth child.

She and her beefy lug of a hubby Daniel Russo adore kids and relish the overheated sex that pregnancy hormones prompt.

Haunted by nightmares of predatory insects munching on their mates, Braoude wrestles with his reluctance to become a dad, while Bouchitey dates a series of shapely nymphettes and Jacob helps Leroy-Beaulieu over the hurdles of her crumbling relationship with wimpy Braoude.

As the passing months flash on the screen, indifferent lensing and ham-handed staging reveal gags about incompetent public hospital gynecologists, cruel sonogram facilities, impractical food cravings, chronic insomnia and a fearful aversion to sex.

By the time the fetus kicks, in month four, the pic is barely kicking. Final birth extravaganza is laid on thick with spatula and forceps.

Apart from the fact that it steadfastly confronts the icky aspects of pregnancy, pic’s greatest merit is its jaunty Klezmer-style score.

Neuf Mois; Nine Months

Production

An AFMD release of an Anne Francois and Christophe Lambert presentation of an AFCL Prods./UGC Images/France 2 Cinema co-production with the participation of Canal Plus and Sofinergie 2 & 3. (International sales: UGC DA.) Produced by Anne Francois. Executive producer, Christophe Lambert. Directed, written by Patrick Braoude.

Crew

Camera (color) Jean-Yves Le Mener; editor, Georges Klotz; music, Jacques Davidovici; set design, Emmanuel Sorin; costume design, Mimi Lempieka; sound (Dolby), Harald Maury, Paul Berthault; assistant directors, Guila Braoude, Paul Gueu. Reviewed at UGC Danton cinema, Paris, Feb. 22, 1994. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Mathilde ... Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu Dominique ... Catherine Jacob Samuel ... Patrick Braoude Georges ... Daniel Russo Marc ... Patrick Bouchitey New Ob/Gyn ... Pascal Legitimus
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