Sam and Lucy Bell are a married couple who seem to have it all: good looks, successful careers and an enthusiastic love life. The only thing they lack is the one thing they want most- a baby. They try everything in their efforts to reproduce: New Age chanting, acupuncture, creative lovemaking...but all this hectic schedule achieves is improvement in their cardiovascular systems. Spontaneity is soon replaced by ovulation charts when the couple reluctantly deliver themselves into the hands of medical professionals. At the same time, as Sam comes to find his job increasingly unfulfilling, he sets his sights on writing a screenplay, but writer's block strikes. Encouraged to 'look within' by his hippie friend Druscilla, Sam is inspired: he will write a comedy about a couple trying for a baby! But Lucy is horrified at the idea and forbids him to tell their story. Sam and Lucy's love for each other, the most important thing they both have, will now truly be put to the test...with surprising results.
By alternating between farcical spoof and bittersweet romantic comedy, Ben Elton's fearless and funny movie about infertility maintains a surprisingly secure comic footing. The British romantic comedy is far from the first movie to explore infertility and the harrowing extremes to which childless couples can go nowadays to try to conceive. But it may be the first movie to blend traditionally romantic screen conventions with a clinical humor that radically desentimentalizes the rituals surrounding conception. - Stephen Holden
2001-08-24 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Maybe Baby