After a whirlwind 3 weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas prep, and (most importantly) F1 racing, it's time to get back to Arnold. I guess Last Action Hero had the additional side effect of curbing my interest in watching other Arnold movies for a little bit there. Yet another knock against it. Moving onward, we come to another Arnold movie that I've never seen before. No idea why I took a pass on this one, aside from the obvious oddity of it, since Arnold's comedies are amongst my favorites. Perhaps this one just seemed a little to heavy handed, but let's see what Reitman was up to with this one...
It's a pretty mixed bag of a film and I found myself wanting to enjoy it more than I actually did. There are some really clever moments, a very sweet tone overall, and some pretty good one-liners, but the story just doesn't ever really click. I managed to largely sidestep the plausibility angle on this one and just go with the flow. If the movie says a man can get pregnant, then I'll concede that to be the case and by and large, they're pretty self-consistent on the subject. The place where I run into trouble is that I just didn't wind up caring as much as I likely should. They do a great job with the setup, and there were certainly plenty of sweet moments designed to get you rooting for Arnold to keep his baby, but there's also something stand-offish about the execution. A lot of that might be chalked up to Devito. Yet another movie where I didn't really care much for him and he doesn't really bring much unique to this. Twins at least used their physical and character differences as a fun contrast, but here he's just another doctor and you could have put anyone in that role.
All those issues aside, Arnold is again quite good in a sweet and comedic role. His character has a reasonably believable transformation from straight-laced scientist to hormonal pregnant person and he does a great job moving toward that with incremental changes in behavior. He again makes a great romantic lead and the bits between Arnold and Emma are all excellent and some pretty decent chemistry. The loneliness angle and subsequent love story were the bits that I best connected with and I'd have enjoyed having a little more of that. He brought in some very fun moments like his outburst and subsequent chat with the other mothers in the fertility clinic waiting room, and I'll remember quite a few of those fondly for some time to come. All in all, I'd have to say that Reitman did a great job in his Arnold trilogy of bringing out a side of Arnold that no one had really seen before, and I hope they still get a chance to get back together and take one more crack at it.
Special nod to Emma for getting involved in this one. I've always liked her, and this outing is no exception. She lends a touch of class and some great comedic timing, and starring with Arnold is a heck of a great 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon connection.
Ahnold Quotient - 5
By design, there's not a lot of Ahnold to be had in this one, which is perhaps where my problem lies. He gets to raise his voice a few times, and we get quite a bit of subtle acting and sweetness out of him, but aside from occasionally remarking on his size, they don't really play that up.
Rewatchability - Perhaps
This may very well be one of those movies that gets better upon rewatch, and I'd certainly be up for doing so again. There wasn't anything that really bugged me about the movie, it just overall fell flat. I can see going back to this one a couple of times to see if my opinion improves, but it's not one I'd feel confident recommending to anyone.