THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY
Release Date: November 21, 1990
Starring: Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg,
Ted Danson, & Nancy Travis
Distributor: Buena Vista
Director: Emile Ardolino
Producer: Ted Field & Robert W. Cort
Writer: Charlie Peters, Sara Parriott
& Josann McGibbonBASED ON THE
NOVEL Trois Hommes Et Un
Couffin BY: Coline Serreau
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The other two, Peter and Michael, have also gotten a crash course in fatherhood. The fivesome now share a New York brownstone, but with Mary in the house, gone are the wild bachelor parties and overnight company. The charming 5-year-old, who has gone from diapers to dimples, considers all three her daddies. Little Mary is joyful, funny and precocious -- and not above using feminine wiles to wrap her doting dad, any one of them, around her little finger.
Mary is placed in pre-school, but experiences confusion and distress over having such a different family than the other kids. Then, Sylvia, a struggling actress, is offered an opportunity to appear on the London stage in a play directed by her current boyfriend, Edward, who is trying to win her hand in marriage.
Sylvia thinks that both she and her daughter are entering a new stage in life and that their living arrangements won't continue to meet their needs. Jack, feeling obligated, proposes marriage, but Sylvia says "no" because she "doesn't love him like that." Sylvia really loves Peter, but since Peter has been hurt in the past and has trouble expressing his feelings, he doesn't pursue marriage.
Frustrated, Sylvia accepts Edward's proposal, moving with him to England where they plan to marry. Edward, however, plans to put Mary in a boarding school without Sylvia's knowledge, but Peter finds out about it. The three doting dads, meanwhile, having discovered they can't live without their Mary, go to great lengths to stop the wedding and bring the little lady back home where she belongs.
For the most part, the movie's adult themes and few sexual situations are handled mildly. There are no bedroom scenes, nudity, or even near nudity (just four obscenities). In fact, the picture comes close to proving that it is not necessary to insert graphic sex, nudity and profanity/obscenity to treat adult themes humorously.
Wonderfully humorous it is (marvelously well-acted, too). One particularly funny scene pits one of the daddies whose turn it is to feed baby Mary. Suited up in a rain slicker and welder's helmet with a face shield, he advances...
Although one wonders what good can come of such a convoluted family situation which seems like a set-up for undermining traditional families, the premise of THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY proves quite the opposite that monogamous marriage and having children by your spouse for life is the highest social order, and that love conquers difficult situations. Whereas the bachelor's motto in the first film was "So many women, so little time," this movie "is much more complex in its relationships and its emotional depth," says director Ardolino. "The focus is on a love story that develops between Selleck (Peter) and Travis (Sylvia)."
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