Desperate to Conceive
Release Date: August 24, 2001
Starring: Hugh Laurie, Joely Richardson,
Adrian Lester, James Purefoy,
Tom Hollander, Joanna Lumley,
Rowan Atkinson, Matthew
Macfadyen, Dawn French, & Emma
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Runtime: 93 minutes
Distributor: USA Films
Director: Ben Elton
Executive Producer: Ernst Goldschmidt & David M.
Producer: Phil McIntyre
Writer: Ben Elton
Address Comments To:Scott Greenstein, Chairman
9333 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: (310) 385-4000
Fax: (310) 385-4408
Sam is jolted out of this tedium by the ring of his cell phone with a female voice saying: “The eggs are done. Come now.” So, Sam excuses himself from the meeting and says that he will be right back. He races off on his motor scooter to his home where his wife, Lucy, waits for him to have sex so they can conceive a baby.
Lucy is obsessed with conceiving a baby. She is convinced that she is almost past her prime. Their life revolves around conception.
At the office, Sam’s life is not doing too well. His new boss wants him to come up with a script. He’s urged to team up with a cutting edge group called Kiss My Arts. These poseurs want to produce a loathsome exploitative movie about “normal” drug addicted English kids shooting heroin into their eyeballs and committing violence and mayhem. Sam does not want to produce such a project, so he cancels it to the chagrin of his boss.
Finally, Sam decides that the plight that he and Lucy are facing regarding infertility would be a great story. The BBC loves it. After a while, however, it is clear that he has the male voice down, but the female voice doesn’t sound real; so, he starts reading Lucy’s diary, even discovering her attraction to an up and coming star with whom she almost commits adultery.
When Lucy discovers that Sam has purloined her thoughts from her diary, she goes ballistic. Sam’s movie is a success, but will they ever get back together?
MAYBE BABY has its virtues. In a culture that cares little about life, Sam and Lucy do care about life and conception. Lucy prays, and Sam makes some moral choices.
However, their friends and acquaintances are very much of this pagan, lost world. Sam calls one of Lucy’s female friends a witch, which in fact she is. She tries to get Lucy to do all sorts of witchcraft to conceive, some of which Lucy makes Sam try. Some of the people at the BBC want to produce heroin projects, much like TRAINSPOTTING. The dialogue is full of sexual discussions, some clinical, some obscene, mostly vulgar. Thus, the moral message in favor of life, forgiveness and redemption is surrounded by a haze of neo-pagan trash.
The humor in this sophisticated comedy alternates between farcical spoof and bittersweet romantic comedy. Even so, the movie maintains its comic footing. The humor revolves around the fact that lovemaking that was once a joy has turned into a grueling chore involving sperm tests and ovulation charts. Other humor is character based, such as Lucy’s flamboyant lesbian boss or loudmouthed witch friend, who spouts batty New Age dogma about fertility.
MAYBE BABY could have been a terrific movie if it had been more subtle and if the dialogue had avoided the excessive language. In fact, MAYBE BABY could have been produced in the 1940s in a much more winsome and poignant manner.
Like many contemporary small movies, MAYBE BABY is not bad. It wants to say something good. It’s actually a love letter, but getting to the good means wading through a lot of trash.
A funny movie, MAYBE BABY has its virtues. In a culture that cares little about life, Sam and Lucy do care about life and conception. Lucy prays, and Sam makes some moral choices. However, their friends and acquaintances are very much of this pagan, lost world. Sam calls one of Lucy’s female friends a witch, which she is. The dialogue is full of sexual discussions, some clinical, some obscene, mostly vulgar. Thus, the moral message in favor of life, forgiveness and redemption is surrounded by a haze of neo-pagan trash.