John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and Bruce Willis’ voice star in this family friendly movie about being a single mother in the late 80’s. So why would I, a 27 year old man, be watching this movie? Because the Broncos game was a god damn joke, and not a good joke, but one of those annoying jokes you hear a thousands times from that one co-worker who thinks he’s the next George Lopez, but he’s more like the next Carlos Mencia. So there’s that, but also I have some weird tendency to watch movies I probably shouldn’t, which is why I have seen Meet Dave.
I will admit at one time I probably really enjoyed this movie, and I wasn’t completely annoyed with this viewing, but I was thinking about it probably more than I should have, or more than anybody should have. I suppose when watching a movie at age seven and again at age 27 you’re bound to pick up on more things and have some questions, unless you’re some kind of idiot savant child, which, clearly, I am not. So it has taken me twenty years of life experience to fully realize why this movie really sucks.
The first thing I noticed about Look Who’s Talking is it is more like a sitcom than a movie. It’s the episode where our protagonist’s life starts to fall apart, or it’s the pilot episode. She has an unexpected pregnancy and baby daddy is in another relationship and eventually dumps her and she is forced to deal with the world on her own. I think this is actually how The Mary Tyler Moore Show started, I’m not sure though, I’ll have to check on that. Then we’re treated to Kirstie’s parents and their advice, and some goofy antics, then an almost taxi-cab-back-seat-child-birth, and topped with a Ross and Rachel style of will they or won’t they, complete with a sabotage of a date. But this is a totally predictable movie so we know that they will indeed end up together in the end.
There are two moments that help the overall sitcom feel. These moments are a couple of day dreams Kirstie has. The first one she imagines her life if she marries John Travolta. They appear to be a couple of white trash folk with four kids. I swear I have seen some TV show use this exact day dream, either that or I am just thinking of the show Roseanne. The next one she imagines reconciling with the baby daddy and leading a sweet life. As neither of these day dreams add to the story it seems odd to put them in but it seems like the type of thing added to a show, a couple funny little moments to keep the buying audience entertained.
Part of me feels that the writer knew the sitcom feel as the movie was being written and decided the thing it needed to make it a movie people would see was that certain something. Then while looking at photos of her nephew and seeing how funny and adorable they were, the idea to exploit some child for cheap laughs was thought of. I swear a third of this movie was just shots of the kid doing something that would make the audience let out an, “Awwwweeee” in unison. Bruce Willis’ voice and comments were added solely to increase the comedic level. Giving us the insight to the baby’s thoughts adds nothing to the story. Since no one can hear him, they go about their lives as per usual and his thoughts never drive him to force the actions of the others. So hearing what he thinks was purely a device to make the movie seem different from other movies.
While I found this kid to be adorable, I was a little upset at this tactic. I would rather have a good story and be entertained that way, than with cheap laughs from a kid. Sure at times I enjoy when my friend’s kids are around and can entertain me, but I don’t care for that when I’m trying to watch a movie.
Then there’s the other story line about John Travolta’s dad or grandpa, I wasn’t paying enough attention to know the relationship. It was Abe Vigoda being old and crotchety, which was awesome, but this story line was unnecessary. Much like hearing the kid’s thoughts I could not figure out how this added to the overall story. I think it may have been put in only to serve as a way and place to have the kid run off and ultimately bring Alley and Travolta together. It’s almost like that love story that is going on during Major League, there are like two people who like it but overall it just takes us away from watching the things in the movie we want to see.
Those were all the actual things that went on in the movie that I tried to put up with. What follows are mainly speculation and ideas I had while I watched.
For instance, does Alley ever tell the kid the truth about his real dad? I suppose she does in a way, and even brings the kid to meet him. But how much of that is retained? Does the kid just go on believing Travolta is his real dad? And how do these things fuck up his life? I wish I could remember if these questions are answered in the sequels, but I can’t and I doubt they are. And I really don’t have the patients to sit through the sequels just find out. If I recall correctly, Roseanne is the voice in one of them and I can’t deal with that. I can only assume Alley let’s the charade of Travolta being the real dad go on. Perhaps on her death bed she let’s the kid know the truth.
Then there is the whole Alley/Travolta relationship which is just weird. She goes into labor and gets in his cab. Then for some reason he sticks around at the hospital while she delivers the baby. I know from my few experiences in the hospital I am comforted by having those who care about me around, not some stranger I just met. Being surrounded by strangers during a vulnerable time is not aided by bringing in more strangers. And how come a stranger can get in and be with someone in the hospital, but it’s still a hassle for a gay person to be in there with their partner? Sorry to get a little political there, but seriously, that’s fucked up.
But apparently this little act is enough to convince Alley that this guy is ok to leave her kid with. I under no circumstances would leave my kid with John Travolta. I suppose this is pre-Pulp Fiction ganster or weirdo Battleship Earth alien Travolta, but it is post Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Urban Cowboy those should be reason enough to not leave a child with him, and if it’s not then I have three words for you: Welcome Back Kotter.
Speaking of Pulp Fiction, John Travolta is killed in that movie by Bruce Willis. And in case you have been keeping up, Travolta plays a father figure to a kid who is voiced by Bruce Willis. When I thought about this and realized there is almost, in an abstract way, a King Laius and Oedipus Rex thing going on here I found the movie a bit more enjoyable. Then I remembered about Bruce Willis’ dad in Pulp Fiction and things got awkward as I tried to figure out if Travolta or George Segal was the one with watch up his ass.
Then I thought maybe I should stop linking actors and all their characters together. Also I thought I sorta hated myself for spending an hour and half watching this movie and quickly changed to Boardwalk Empire in an attempt to salvage my masculinity.
Also how did they do the shots of the sperm swimming to the egg?
See ya in the womb…
25 Oct 2010 Lee S. Hart