If Babies Could Talk


My wife insisted that I watch the three Look Who’s Talking movies, which she’d seen as a kid, but I never had. I’m going to say they’re pretty good for what they were, which I guess would be films from the baby’s point of view (or in the third one, the dogs’ point of view). They star Kirstie Alley and John Travolta, for double the Scientology power. She’s an accountant who gets pregnant from an affair with a client. He’s a cab driver who aspires to be a pilot (a real stretch for Travolta, I’m sure). They fight crime! Or raise a child. Whatever. They meet when he drives her to the hospital when she’s in labor, and the rest of the movie is about their falling in love, while all the while the baby makes smart-alecky comments in Bruce Willis’ voice. Also, Alley has blind dates with a few total losers, like one guy who thinks it’s appropriate to bring up his kidney stone on a first date. I feel I should mention that Beth has the soundtrack pretty much memorized, and whenever one of the songs comes on the radio, she says, “This was in Look Who’s Talking!” I wonder if their use of a Talking Heads song (“And She Was”) was a play on the title on the movie. By the way, the poster that I put above this paragraph doesn’t make sense, as Travolta’s character was not Mikey’s biological father.


In Look Who’s Talking Too, a new baby is added to the mix, this time voiced by Roseanne. Alley and Travolta have some marital difficulties, and the kids experience sibling rivalry. In addition, Alley’s crazy brother, played by Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, moves in. Oh, and there’s a cameo by Mel Brooks as a talking toilet. Yes, it’s a dream sequence, but still. The film shows the failure of birth control at the very beginning, although I guess a diaphragm isn’t the most effective method out there. Still, I found it weird that there wasn’t any point when Alley was surprised that she got pregnant when she’d been using protection.


By the time we catch up to the family in Look Who’s Talking Now, the kids are able to talk normally, so they’re no longer the focus of the gimmick. Hey, how come they expressed themselves in more complex thoughts when they were babies than when they got a little older? One of the mysteries of the universe, I suppose. Instead, the vocalized thoughts are those of the two dogs the family ends up with through a weird coincidence, a streetwise mutt voiced by Danny DeVito and a pampered poodle voiced by Diane Keaton. And yes, there’s more than a hint of Lady and the Tramp influence to be found here. The plot is rounded out by Travolta getting a job as personal pilot for a rich lady who wants to get into his pants. While all three films have a rather unrealistic action sequence at the end, this one might be the most ridiculous in that respect, with the dogs both finding Travolta when his boss is trying to seduce him and rescuing the family from a pack of wolves. I found it amusing that Alley made a reference to her role as a Vulcan in Star Trek II, because it totally made sense for her to be part of a species that relies on logic and the stifling of emotion. Then again, Doc Brown was a Klingon in the third one, and Annie Camden from 7th Heaven a marine biologist in the fourth. I’m getting off the track here, aren’t I? So, yeah, the Look Who’s Talking movies were pretty cute. They weren’t great cinema, but I can’t say I have any major complaints about them.

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