Nine Months is an innocuously funny, audience-pleasing comedy very much tailored around the cuddly charm and boyish good looks of Hugh Grant, the British actor who hit it big in Four Wed dings and a Funeral.
Based on a French feature [the 1994 Neuf Mois, written and directed by Patrick Braoude] that was successful on its home turf but never made it into US release, Americanized version has veered away from the original’s concentration on the comic physical side of effects of pregnancy as well as its critique of hospital conditions and medical practice.
Grant stars as consummate yuppie Samuel Faulkner, a breezy young man who’s got it all – red Porsche, San Francisco apartment with a bay view and a lovely girlfriend of five years, Rebecca Taylor (Julianne Moore). When Rebecca announces she’s pregnant, Samuel runs his fancy car off the road in shock.
Unable to summon the nerve to tell his beloved he simply doesn’t want the kid, Samuel starts suffering from discarded-mate/praying mantis nightmares. Rebecca stomps out and moves in with her new best friend, Gail (Joan Cusack), the latter’s boorish husband, Marty (Tom Arnold), and their three monster kids.
Samuel tries to revive his batchelor ways at the encouragement of swinger pal Sean (Jeff Goldblum). But watching a video of his sprout in utero, he realizes it’s time to grow up and smell the diapers.
All the film’s humor and sentiments play right into the most commonly held ‘family values,’ so this will hardly be the ticket for someone looking for something edgy, sophisticated or hip.
Grant does lay on the mugging and facial contortions a bit thick at times, but his debonair manner and appealing personality do a lot to put the film over. Moore is winsome and just serious enough as Grant’s well-matched mate, while Goldblum, Arnold and Cusack supply effective shtick. A hilariously malaprop Robin Williams has a field day as a newly arrived medic from Russia who has previously treated only animals.