Outside of a drug dealer plotline that really doesn’t do anything for the film at all, director Leonard Nimoy’s adaptation of the French film, Trois Hommes et un Couffin, is light, fun, and full of heart.
Three bachelors, Peter (Tom Selleck), Michael (Steve Guttenberg), and Jack (Ted Danson) are living their best lives, parties, girls, great jobs, and more girls. But they aren’t ready for the next girl who pops into their lives…
While Jack is off shooting a feature in Turkey, a delivery is made from a former lover, and Peter and Michael discover a bundle of joy, named Mary, on their doorstep.
Imposed parenthood throws their lives into complete upheaval, but they also grow to love the baby, as does Jack upon his return to the city. Although it is hard work for each of them, they find joy in all their moments with baby Mary, and make their lives, and hers, work.
All three leads are extremely likeable, and it’s just a lot of fun to watch these guys struggle to be parental, and find their way through a world they had no idea about, and honestly, weren’t even interested in.
Circling through this is a silly story thread, which ties up long before the film ends, about a mistaken package delivered for one of Jack’s work associates, which ends up being drugs, and causes the guys to come under police suspicion. This section just sticks out like a sore thumb, and you want it wrapped up quickly so you can enjoy the comedic, and heart touching moments of three men with no clue trying to parent, and slowly becoming loving fathers.
Nimoy, who had directed two Star Trek movies, and a handful of episodic television, handles the story, and the actors easily, and wraps us up easily in the story, showing us the hope and heartache of parenthood and how, consequently, the parent grows with the child.
On top of all that, there’s just a fun sense of camaraderie between the three stars that makes for some delightful chemistry on screen. And just speaking as a guy, I love the art deco sense that seems to dominate their apartment, from the mural, to the old school wall-mounted phone, to the simple designs that abound in the apartment.
This was arguably the biggest film of 1987, and I didn’t see it until much later. I liked Selleck, loved Nimoy, but it just didn’t look like my thing when it came out, I had just turned 16 at the time, and my genre was more action, science fiction, and just the beginning of my love of horror.
Now, I can admit that it’s an enjoyable film (but for the drug storyline, who thought that was a good idea?) and it’s fun to watch the trio do their thing. Obviously the studio agreed, because they brought the three stars back for a sequel in 1990, Three Men and a Little Lady.
I passed completely on that one.