You know the feeling. You ask a coworker with genuine interest if she’s got any pictures of her newborn. She giddily pulls out her phone and shows you picture after picture after picture after picture.
After a few minutes she’s in her own world, and you are but a defenseless captive as she obliviously proceeds to sort through roughly 10 million photos of her little bambino, supplementing each insufferable snapshot with an uninteresting story.
In other words: Hell. Such is the at-first-charming but gradually infuriating French documentary Babies. Dialogue-free, the movie was originally released in France, where it was known as Le Awwwwwww.
The “aws” turn to “arghs” roughly at the halfway point, when you’ve had more than your fill rotating among among infants from Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and Tokyo. They drool, squeak, pee, slap and cry, convincing you of the urgency of birth control with primal force.
An anthropologist might find it fascinating to sort through the various nurturing rituals from around the world. Either that or the anthropologist would cringe from the blatant stereotyping. The Namibian baby spends most of his life rolling around in the dirt, the Mongolian baby dodges cows, the San Francisco baby gets new-agey-overcoached into early mental complexes and the Tokyo baby is terrorized by Godzilla.
Well, everything but that last part is true.
This is the point in the review when you might go “Right, Phil. That movie looked stupid to begin with, so enough with the overkill and where the hell is my Iron Man 2 review?”
And my answer to that is “C’mon, yo! It’s freakin’ Iron Man 2. You already either have your tickets pre-ordered or the move pre-pirated on your computer, so you don’t need me to give you the yay or nay on such an automatic blockbuster.” But the real answer is I would have loved to have reviewed Iron Man 2.
Hell, I’d rather have reviewed Catwoman 2 than Babies. But there inexplicably was no Iron Man 2 screening in Tucson, yet there was one of Babies. Which brings to mind my favorite quote from the movie: “Waaaaah!”
Directed by Thomas Balmes. Rated PG. 78 minutes.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available on Amazon.