Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Time to Grow Up

Nine Months (1995) on IMDb

Plot Overview

mom, dad, babyChild psychiatrist Samuel Faulkner (Hugh Grant) has what he wants with his girl­friend Rebecca Taylor (Julianne Moore): “stability.” Rebecca, a children's ballet teacher, yearns for “more” with him. A missed period makes Sam wish there'd been more relia­bility in the birth control, and a painful breakup with Beck high­lights his need for more maturity. His artist friend Sean Fletcher (Jeff Goldblum) handles his own breakup by pursuing more fish in the sea. Sean's sister Gail Dwyer (Joan Cusack) & her hubby Marty (Tom Arnold) just keep breeding more kids. And their newly minted Russian obstetrician Dr. Kosevich (Robin Williams) could wish he had more experience (“This is my first delivery.”) What they don't have is more time beyond nine months.


This being a comedy of controlled mayhem, it lends itself to application of, (Prov. 30:21-23) “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it can­not bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; For an odious woman when she is married; and an hand­maid that is heir to her mistress.” “A servant when he reigneth” could have been problematic in a class­less 20th c. San Francisco were it not for some creative writing and editing. The camera paints S.F. with well integrated schools, businesses, restaurants, and retail outlets. Even strug­gling (white) artist Sean includes blacks in his private soirees and parties presumably to solicit all the contacts he can get. In stark contrast to standard S.F. fare is—spoiler ahead—the large church wedding of Samuel & Rebecca. The bride's side is a sea of white faces; ditto the groom's. Must have been a large attendance from out of town.

And yet great pains are taken to portray the couple as accepting of diverse people—she is marrying a limey, after all. Their Russian obste­trician would be a hard pill for any­one to swallow (“He's a little nervous. Oh, but very sweet,”) but they see in him a good heart beneath his quirky exterior. As an artistic meme one's hidden interior is developed on a Halloween visit to the Dwyer Family Ford used car lot. Marty is dressed as a scary, pale Count Dracula, but he makes Sam a good offer on a family friendly car. For that matter Sam first encounters of a black man dressed as an Arab (“Can I help you sir?”) and shows no prejudice against said sand nigger.

brontosaurusFollowing the same meme a visit to Talbot's Toy Land brings them an encounter with a Barney-like dinosaur named Arnie. His green scales and orange tummy serve to represent some­one across the color line. His “Arnie Loves You” mantra of, “Love is for you and me/ We are one big family” represents our civil rights feelings in a nut­shell. And yet Sam and Sean disparage his show. To be sure, we don't see excerpts of it here, but especially in the Bible Belt it's recognized that Ham the youngest son of Noah, and the progenitor of the black races of Africa, made a poor showing in his relations with his father and incurred a curse of servitude to his two brothers Shem and Japheth. ( Other movies have dealt more with that particular incident.) Here they have such and such an encounter with Arnie:

Marty: I'm not gonna buy your damn video!

Arnie: But, the kids will love it...

Marty: My kids will hate it because they think your show sucks!

Arnie: [after a long pause] Oh.

Samuel Faulkner: But, thanks. Thanks anyway.

Arnie: Oh, sure. Hey, no hard feelings okay?

Marty: All right. Sorry.

Arnie: That's okay.


Arnie: So long.

Samuel Faulkner: So long.

[He and Samuel walk away]

Arnie: [sotto voce] Ah, ya cheap shit.

Marty: What did you say?

Arnie: Oh gee, I didn't say nothing mister, you must be hearing things. Bye bye, Arnie loves you. [sotto voce] Ya penis-head.

Marty: Now I heard that!

Arnie: Heard what?

Marty: I heard what you said!

Arnie: [flipping him the bird] So long, You fat-ass pussy!

This results in a hilarious fight and shows that beneath the lovey-dovey veneer of one big happy family is the recognition of some­thing darker. It gets passed down through the generations and results in a disruption of inter-generation harmony (“My dad's an asshole”) when a younger generation breaks with its elders' so-called prejudice and winds up on Samuel's psychotherapist couch.

This film has Samuel calling Marty an “asshole,” but then Marty apologizes with, “I was out of line. It's my fault.” Earlier Sam had been out of line by accosting a random black dance student with his failings (“I'm such a coward”) and then apologizing, “Sorry, it's nothing to do with you.” Later he is again out of line in the hospital trying to motivate a black nurse (“Don't push me.”) And a black female Dr. Thatcher whom Rebecca had to visit to get her ultra­sound was out of line presuming some familiarity with Samuel, who doesn't have black intimates, advising him a white man to treat Rebecca with kid gloves (“Pregnant women need a lot of support.”) Consequently at Stars Restaurant instead of just conceding to Rebecca he did know the hostess Lili (Mia Cottet), he instead “didn't want to upset you, because you were in such a fragile state” so he lied, which made it worse when she found out.

That got compounded by “an handmaid that is heir to her mistress,” when Sam took their (injured) hostess with them to the hospital instead of just attending to Beck, and she observed his unaccounted for familiarity with Lili who was supposedly just their hostess from the restaurant.

“A fool when he is filled with meat” would be starving artist Sean who lives off his inheritance and his sister and is not conversant with the real world. He advises Sam to forget about Rebecca and get on with his life. “An odious woman when she is married” is the praying mantis that devours its mate—as only occurs in stressful captivity—which is the subject of Sam's recurring night­mares having not gotten to know Rebecca well enough to trust her. This in turn was the result of too much focus on sex and not enough on character observation in their court­ship period, as was warned of by anthropologist Desmond Morris—best known for his book, The Naked Ape—writing on human sexual relations: (247)

The [sexual] preliminaries provide time for careful judgments to be made, judgments that may be hard to form once the massive, shared emotional impact of double orgasm has been experienced. This powerful moment can act as such a tight ‘bonder’ that it may well tie together two people quite unsuited to each other, if they have not spent sufficient time exploring each other's personalities during the sexual preliminaries.

Production Values

” (1995) was written and directed by Chris Columbus. It was based on the 1994 French film, “Neuf Mois” itself written by Patrick Braoud. It stars Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore, and Tom Arnold. Robin Williams was price­less as a displaced Russian doc. Mia Cottet as party girl Lili had a face that revealed her every emotion. Joey Simmrin as troubled kid Truman effected a good illustration of boy­hood angst. Hugh Grant was more suited to his role here than others I've seen him in. There's sort of a dignity in his British toned speech that's belied by some of the cads he's played in the past. Julianne Moore manages her (pregnant) character with­out making her larger than life. Arnold tends to upstage every­one else in his scenes. Joan Cusack was the quintessential mother.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for language and sexual innuendo. Hans Zimmer's score was beautiful. The portrayals of the deadly praying mantis and the offbeat dinosaur were amazing. It switched around a lot between romance and comedy, with one whale of a climax. Kudos to Raja Gosnell for his tight editing.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I rather liked this picture and thought it was very funny in places. It works as a romcom and should well satisfy those expectations. The children in it are a diverse lot with regard to temperament.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Some suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Morris, Desmond. Manwatching. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1977. Print.