Samuel and Rebecca have been together for five years and as far as Samuel is concerned, their relationship is pretty perfect. But lately, Rebecca has been wanting more. When she becomes pregnant, she’s nervous but ecstatic. The news turns Samuel into a basket case where he begins to question whether or not he even wants to be a father. It puts a strain on their relationship, especially when it becomes clear that Samuel’s lifestyle has to change
My husband told me he used to love this movie, but I had never seen it before watching it for the blog. I read that Hugh Grant, who plays Samuel, was really appalled by his performance in the movie. He felt as though he overacted, pulling a lot of strange faces, etc. I suppose I can see that in some scenes, but for the most part, he just came across as bumbling Hugh Grant to me, the same performance we see in a lot of his other romantic comedies.
At the same time, I felt like maybe he was a little miscast? I’m not sure what it was, but when I was watching it, he just seemed out of sync with the rest of the performances. It didn’t help that I didn’t feel a lot of chemistry between Grant and Julianne Moore (Rebecca) either.
The majority of the film focuses on Samuel and his trepidation of fatherhood. He’s a child psychologist, so he sees firsthand how much children can despise their parents. But the movie goes above and beyond at times to paint Samuel’s fears as being reasonable. One minute Rebecca tells Samuel that nothing has to change… and the next, she’s telling him they have to sell his new convertible and get rid of his 16-year-old (!) cat. I understand needing a bigger and more dependable car, but I can’t imagine telling my significant other to get rid of their very old pet.
Another issue I had is that Rebecca seems like a pretty intelligent person. She’s the one who informs Samuel that she’s read about how cats can be harmful to babies, and compared to Samuel, she’s the rational one. So I was a bit annoyed when she suddenly pulled back from getting intimate with Samuel, afraid that sex would hurt the baby. The baby “might see” Samuel’s penis. Honestly, the scene played like a ridiculous Yahoo Answer question you might see online. Its sole purpose was to fuel Samuel’s trepidation and frustration over the pregnancy, creating sympathy for him while having Rebecca come across as a moron. See, no wonder Samuel isn’t on board with this pregnancy; Rebecca won’t have sex with him! Ugh.
Jeff Goldblum and Robin Williams have minor supporting roles in the film, and they’re both hilarious with what little screen time they have. Goldblum plays Samuel’s friend, Sean, who was recently dumped by his longtime girlfriend because he didn’t want kids. Williams is Rebecca’s Russian OBGYN and provides most of the quirky physical humor. This role would have been incredibly obnoxious had it been any other actor, but Robin Williams was a true legend, able to make just about anything hilarious.
Rounding out the rest of the cast are Tom Arnold and Joan Cusack as Marty and Gail, a married couple with three daughters and a fourth on the way. They’re the complete opposite of Sean, who happens to also be Gail’s brother. They love marriage and parenthood, and they help Samuel and Rebecca along on their own journey. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I adore Joan Cusack. I am immediately happy anytime she pops up in a movie I am watching, including this one.
Nine Months has many funny moments, though they generally come from the supporting cast. And even if I felt like Hugh Grant was miscast, he’s still Hugh Grant, so there’s definitely some of his trademark charm to enjoy. I found the movie overall to be okay, a cookie-cutter rom-com, but I doubt it’s one that I’ll end up watching again.