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Alex Hesse and Larry Arbogast are working on a new drug which will reduce the chances of a woman's body rejecting an embryo and thus causing a miscarriage. When their research funding is withdrawn, and human experimentation is denied to them, they decide to test the drug by breifly impregnating Hesse. Hesse however becomes attached to "his" unborn baby. Written by
Arnold Schwarzenegger as a scientist who makes himself pregnant? The premise is pretty funny, even if the idea of Ah-nold in a comedy makes one suspicious. I thought "Twins" was awful, and "Conan" a comedy by accident. "Kindergarten Cop" was better because Schwarzenegger was mostly a straight man. Here he is called on to act the part of a pregnant man opposite Danny DeVito and Emma Thompson. While it is not an Oscar calibre performance, he gets the job done.
The story is reasonably simple. DeVito (a fertility specialist) and Schwarzenegger (a scientist) are partners working on a new miracle fertility drug. Their project gets canceled by the University and replaced by an ovarian study under the direction of Emma Thompson. They decide to implant an embryo in Schwarzenegger and continue the study illegally. They steal an egg from Thompson's ovarian study and the stage is set. Of course, the egg is Thompson's and she and Schwarzenegger are attracted to each other.
Ivan Reitman does a very good job with the story, keeping it simple and staying focused on the characters. Had he spent a lot of time focusing on the physical comedy, the film would have failed. Instead we get to watch the ultimate "macho" figure take on the ultimate "female" experience. The contrast keeps the comedy rolling, while the characters carry the film.
It is hardly a profound film, although it is intelligently written. The issues raised rely on simple male vs. female differences and the contrast of Schwarzenegger's image with this role is used to full effect. It's an enjoyable film with strong performances by Thompson and DeVito.
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