YEAR:  1987

ROLE:  Dr. Jeff Cooper, veterinarian

DIRECTOR:  Charles Shyer

US PREMIERE:  October 7, 1987

 
Plot Summary

Diane Keaton stars as J.C. Wyatt, a high-powered ad executive who has just been asked to become a partner at her swanky New York agency. J.C. is known as the "Tiger Lady," a smart and successful woman. She lives in a spacious penthouse with an equally business-oriented companion (Ramis) and is perfectly content with her cold, rich existence. J.C. awakens one late night to a phone call notifying her that a long-lost uncle has passed away, leaving her an unidentified inheritance. The next day she discovers the inheritance is a six-month-old baby girl which throws her world upside down. When J.C. finds herself unable to part with young Elizabeth, she must juggle the tough responsibilities of the corporate world and motherhood. When that falls through, she takes to the quiet solitude of a small town in Vermont where she meets veterinarian doctor (Shepard) and soon her  life changes for the better in ways she never expected.

 
Film Details
Diane KEATON.....................J.C. Wiatt
Harold RAMIS...............Steven Buchner
Sam WANAMAKER............Fritz Curtis
James SPADER..............Ken Arrenberg
Pat HINGLE...................Hugh Larrabee
Kristina KENNEDY................Elizabeth
Michelle KENNEDY.............. Elizabeth
Screenplay..................Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers
Cinematography..........William A. Fraker
Music......................................Bill Conti
Length.................................103 minutes
DVD release...............February 6, 2001
 
 
Publicity Stills
 
 
Production Notes

The film was shot on location in Los Angeles, New York City and Manchester, Vermont. Filming took place between November 5, 1986 and February 3, 1987 with an estimated budget of $15 million. It was shown at the 1987 Toronto Film Festival.

 
Reviews

Jason McKiernan, Filmcritic.com:
"Baby Boom" is light, easy fun with some strong feminism snuck through the back door...  What makes this particular parental comedy so unique is that, unlike similar films of the time period, this one is actually about a woman, one who has succeeded well outside the typical maternal realm, who is thrust into motherhood and proves that a woman need not solely be defined by any one societal label.... Keaton is fabulous in roles like this, where she plays the nervous, infectiously-spastic independent woman who has needs, particularly when they are written with equal parts gushy sweetness and savage wit by Nancy Meyers.... Eventually J.C. (Keaton) leaves her hectic NYC life for a slower, calmer existence in snowy small-town Vermont, where she discovers that a working mom can indeed have it all - including the perfect New England man, played here by Sam Shepard at his most down-home and handsome....  It is audience-friendly, warm-hearted, fuzzy happiness with a soft-focus bow on top. There are lots of cute jokes, many convenient plot developments, and endless simplistic characterizations. But the material reaches high for a female protagonist even by today's standards, let alone 1987's. Meyers was on the cutting edge of the independent-women-who-need-love-but-also-can-succeed-on-their-own movement in modern cinema, and Baby Boom was there at the beginning of an era.

Time-out Film Guide:
It's played like a '40s comedy; heartwarming, sentimental, simplistic.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times:
"Baby Boom" makes no effort to show us real life. It is a fantasy about mothers and babies and sweetness and love, with just enough wicked comedy to give it an edge. The screenplay, written by producer Nancy Meyers and director Charles Shyer, has some of the same literate charm as their previous film, Irreconcilable Differences, and some of the same sly observation of a generation that wages an interior war between selfishness and good nature.

JoAnn Rhetts, The Charlotte Observer:
Diane Keaton is so funny and appealing! In fact, "Baby Boom" is Keaton`s best work since "Annie Hall"... She`s brassy, glamorous, sexy and fiercely tender. She finishes most of her sentences, and sometimes she`s as gifted a physical comic as Steve Martin. Lugging vast quantities of baby accessories, her glasses slide down her nose, her bangs flop into her eyes and her Tiger Lady collapses into Raggedy Ann. One kiss, in particular, is a slapstick marvel.

Philip Wuntch, The Dallas Morning News:
The film contains memorable bits of funny business. Keaton's moments of comic hysteria are extremely well-played, and some of the jabs taken at Yuppie parenting are funny without being overly righteous. The episode wherein Keaton first meets a Vermont veterinarian played by Sam Shepard is engaging, and their hesitant romance is charmingly presented.

Ben Falk, BBC:
J.C. buys a decrepit pad in snowy Vermont and quits the rat race to care for her new infant. Soon, she has her eye on local vet Dr Jeff, a very smooth Shepard... As a gentle comedy, this works in spades and while lesser actors may well have relegated it to made-for-telly cheese, Keaton is, of course, loaded with charisma and comic sense. Okay, so the message may be a little old-fashioned, but forget that and enjoy this for the light-hearted fun.

Janet Maslin, NY Times:
Miss Keaton's comically exaggerated toughness and absurd self-confidence make the performance a delight. For an hour or so, at least, ''Baby Boom'' is wicked enough to have a real edge...  The film also does well when it pokes fun at the high-pressure world of the New York child, a world in which bewildered tots attend strenuous gym classes while their parents wail over private-school rejections.

Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee:
Let's not mince any words: Diane Keaton's triumphant new movie, ""Baby Boom,'' is the funniest and most moving, and least sentimental, chronicle of these confused times, a movie at once retro and savvy. It plays as if one of those irresistible Doris Day comedies of the '60s had been plucked out of its fluff and plunged into some politically sensitive territory... Shepard is the quiet center of the movie. He becomes a friend fast. And I particularly liked the work of James Spader as Keaton's skunky protege. They all make good company.

Glenn Lovell, Mercury News:
The new Diane Keaton vehicle "Baby Boom" proves an immensely satisfying, often genuinely moving story about sacrifice and altering priorities in the '80s... This is Keaton's richest, most well-rounded performance since "Annie Hall." Only here she's not only manic and funny, she also establishes herself as a feisty romantic lead of the Jean Arthur-Carole Lombard school... Actor-playwright Shepard as a small-town rube patterned after Jimmy Stewart ,is certainly one of the screen's more likable and unaffected actors.

Scott Renshaw, Apollo Guide:
When she’s in top form, Keaton can play endearingly frantic like no other actress can (like a tirade at her Vermont plumber that “I don’t want to know where [my water] comes from”). There’s enough charm and intelligence in Keaton’s portrayal of J.C.’s uncertainty that Baby Boom seems to glide over its easy jokes and awkward structure.

Movieeye.com:
Diane Keaton gives one of her best performances in "Baby Boom," a feminine-powered comedy with a great deal of good-natured laughs up its business suit sleeve... Written by Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer and directed by Shyer, "Baby Boom" provides a number of comedic situations where inexperience and awkwardness reign supreme. Watching Keaton's character feed her new arrival linguini one minute and clean it off of the ceiling the next is pure gold, as are her outbursts once she reaching the breaking point after a harsh winter takes its toll on her ancient Vermont home. When she meets local veterinarian Sam Shepard, the changes are evident in her personality and her outlook on life, and Keaton brings out these the subtleties with grace and ease. She has the ability to go from hot-shot career woman to sensible country mom in a convincing manner, and it helps that the material affords her room to do so by not suffocating her in a barrage of tepid situations or unwanted plot turns.

Jim Emerson, The Orange County Register:
Watching Keaton in this part is like discovering an entirely new, mature comic actress spring from inside the one we've been familiar with all these years. She is, as they say, a revelation. Some of the trademark Keaton mannerisms are still there - the waving fingers, the stammer - but this is definitely not just a hardened, capitalistic version of Annie Hall. This is Keaton's most accomplished screen work, a virtuoso performance in which she masterfully orchestrates every behavioral detail - posture, facial expressions, vocal inflections - without coming across as fussy or mannered.

Ben Yagoda, Philadelphia Daily News:
You have to admit that "Baby Boom" does a nice job. Like "Private Benjamin" and "Irreconcilable Differences," it's a product of the husband-and-wife team of Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers. (He directs, she produces, they write). In this film, they've put together an odd but effective combination of styles: '30s screwball comedies (in which people like Rosalind Russell wore suits and in which sojourns to the country were often taken), '50s corporate comedies like "The Apartment" and very up-to-date references.

Jack Sommersby, Efilmcritic.com:
"
Baby Boom" doesn't have so much as a single laugh-out-loud moment and yet is uncommonly measured and deliberate in its putting a constant smile on your face throughout. Instead of "moments", it offers up a series of smoothly connected instances that play off each other beautifully. You feel as if what you're watching could conceivably happen given the circumstances, and the absence of sensationalistic excess in the plotting and execution comes off not only as intelligent, but absolutely essential for the sake of the story...  Throw in a late-in-the-game love interest in the person of local veterinarian Dr. Jeff Cooper (an appealing Sam Shepard), and you have a film that pretty much covers all the bases without coming off as too perfunctory.

Michael Healy, Los Angeles Daily News:
"Baby Boom" is an entertaining, high-gloss situation comedy that should please the crowd that liked "The Big Chill"... Diane Keaton does her best, most emotionally complex work here since ''Shoot the Moon" (1982).

Paul, Willistein, The Morning Call:
"Baby Boom" is surprisingly tough-minded. The script by Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer is post Women's Liberation but not a '50s "Father Knows Best" throwback. Politics aside, "Baby Boom" offers a few belly laughs, a fair share of chuckles and lots of warmth. Keaton  has finally found a non-Woody Allen movie to equal a Woody Allen movie.