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Liveblogging the '80s: 'Three Men and a Baby'

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | March 13, 2015 |

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | March 13, 2015 |

For a while now, I’ve dreamed, DREAMED!, of a world where Liveblogging the ’90s enters the future by way of the past. And I decided there was no better way to launch this brave new frontier than with this film, in honor of its director Leonard Nimoy. Yes, Leonard Nimoy directed Three Men and a Baby. It’s clearly what he was best known for. LEARN YOUR HISTORY.

0:00 - Right off the bat, the soundtrack is perfection. Miami goddamn Sound Machine telling us that these boys will in fact be boys and are in fact bad boys (bad boys). We can tell because they’re having sex with everyone and they drew on the walls and Steve Guttenberg is coloring a cartoon cat.

0:01 - This montage of sex and coloring is massively sped up. Because no amount of montagery can match the energy of Gloria Estefan, people, and don’t you dare try.

0:02 - I believe in this moment we have film history—perhaps the first incident of a man jogging past a woman, seeing said woman and turning around to follow her like a creep. But it’s Tom Selleck so we’re fine with it.

0:03 - This cavalcade of conquests is extra perfection—all perms and bowler hats.

0:03 - Our trio of heroes are hosting a birthday party in their palatial estate which is riddled with those glass block things, just so you know it’s the late ’80s.

0:05 - Tom Selleck is kind of sort of dating Margaret Colin, Jeff Goldblum’s ex-wife from Independence Day, and he’s seeing other people but when other men ask about her, they’re exclusive. Ha! Women! They’re not people!

0:06 - This movie has been on for six minutes, half of them montage, and for at least five Ted Danson has been wearing this stupid puffy shirt and now he’s wearing it with a smoking jacket. He’s goddamn glamorous.

0:07 - Steve Guttenberg is trying to seduce a weepy woman with a cat puppet. Seems about right.

0:09 - Now the song at the party is “Conga” because this movie is a Gloria Estefan explosion of feelings and wonder.

0:09 - Selleck has a whole room of videos and multiple screens of basketball. That’s a hallmark of PARTY.

0:11 - Margaret Colin and Tom Selleck have been together for five years, but she seems unsure about things like spending the night. It’s like she has…reservations. Perhaps concerns that he’s a manchild. If only he could be saved by some major responsibility, such as that which comes from raising a child! If only!

0:13 - Ted Danson has offered to get rid of a woman he’s invited to stay over so he and his boys can bro out. Ha! Women aren’t people!

0:13 - Hoo boy, except we just saw that woman and she’s wearing a full-body sparkly one-piece suit with shoulder pads and animal print. Woman, you are too ’80s for the ’80s.

0:14 - Tom Selleck just entered his apartment having walked past a giant bassinet without noticing it, which is impressive. Then he notices it. I realize baby carriers have come a long way, but Nancy Travis brought this baby over in a picnic basket covered in lace and bonnetry.

0:16 - Nancy Travis (we don’t know it’s Nancy Travis yet but I know it’s Nancy Travis) couldn’t handle being a mom so she left her baby with Ted Danson. This movie is about severe, horrific post-partum depression. It’s a fun comedy! It’s not about women.

0:17 - You guys, two men are trying to figure out what to do with a baby and it is COMEDY GOLD. Tom Selleck just said “we can’t feed it birthday cake and goat cheese” and that’s probably true but I would literally live on that shit given the chance.

0:18 - Guttenberg just tried to calm a crying baby by showing her his chest hair. It goes over about as well as most Police Academy movies.

0:18 - Ladies and gentlemen, the real star of this movie: Baby Dave Foley.

0:19 - This baby does not care for Steve Guttenberg’s puppet. Women don’t respond to it; babies don’t respond to it. Time to let it go, Gute.

0:19 - Tom Selleck doesn’t know what a toddler is. He’s learning the tricky world of baby food and iron and teething and the scary word “nipples.”

0:21 - This baby hasn’t stopped crying and we’re to be amused by the plight of Steve Guttenberg, but she’s also been abandoned by her mother and that’s unspeakably horrifically sad when you stop and think about it. She’s also probably really hoping someone takes that ugly fucking bonnet off her baby head.

0:23 - A neighbor woman comes over — WITH A PACKAGE SIMILAR TO THE ONE TED DANSON TOLD THEM TO AWAIT (Gute does not care) — and immediately picks up the baby and makes her stop crying. Women!

0:25 - Nancy Travis didn’t leave these men any pertinent information, like this baby’s age, allergies, anything. This is a severely disturbed woman, clearly. Comedy! Women!

0:26 - They’re trying to change a dirty diaper by cleaning her with cotton balls which is a nightmare I think I’ve had.

0:26 - This movie quite adequately captures the angst and frustration of new parents. Also, baby urine. Babies are gross, guys. A whole lot of stuff comes out of their weird bodies.

0:29 - He’s feeding a very small baby a very big bottle. You don’t need to do that, bro, it’s a waste of formula. Also, Guttenberg is wearing a shirt covered in bar codes. You don’t need ot do that, bro. It’s a waste of bar codes.

0:30 - I was really excited about Tiny Dude vacating my premises in a couple months, but now I’ve remembered how much they cry and shit. This is a lot of work and I fully lack the body and facial hair of Misters Selleck and Guttenberg. Well. I usually do.


0:32 - Tom Selleck is frantically asking his sort-of girlfriend, who shows up with her sort-of cellist, questions about babies “because you’re a woman!” Women! She says no. She and her crop top and Aqua Netted hair say NO.


0:36 - Selleck and Guttenberg are having one of those tense fights couples do when they have a baby. Selleck is the passive aggressive, creepily calm one. Or the “me” as they call it at my house.

0:37 - Two thugs, Older Will Forte and Big One With The Teeth, show up to collect a package. At no point have they considered that the literal “package” they received earlier is the package, they just keep assuming it’s the baby. So they give these guys a baby. They’re probably going to throw this baby in the trash. Selleck has concerns. Gute is fine. Gute doesn’t give a fuck.

0:40 - Old Will Forte has the foresight to think they need a carseat but then very quickly decides it’s OK to put the baby in the trunk. Drug thugs are not great with kids.

0:43 - I realize there’s a lot of excitement and druggery going on, but why have they at no point removed this stupid bonnet from this poor child’s head? WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE CHILD AND HER LIKELY HATRED OF LACE?

0:43 - A narcotics detective comes up and questions Selleck about the thug dudes. Gute is bothered because he put heroin in a child’s diaper. The diaper she’s wearing. The one on her body, pressed up against her flesh, probably seeping into her tiny baby body. Quality hiding place, Gute!

0:49 - The men are late for things and just discovered that babysitters are a thing. How have they been going to work this entire time? Also, there’s no concept of time in this film. I don’t know if they’ve had this baby a couple days, a couple weeks, a couple months, if she’s a very small 7-year-old, what.

0:50 - My god, it’s Three Men and a Baby Colin Quinn.

0:51 - Welp, neighbor-lady babysitter got herself tied up and gagged. NICE JOB, BABYSITTER. It’s so hard to get good help these days. The drug thugs ransacked the house and pulled all the stuffing out of every soft item and all the tape out of Selleck’s illustrious video tape collection. And they hid the baby in a closet just to scare them. The baby is scared and crying. I am crying for the baby. This movie was a horrible idea for me at this stage in my existence.

0:52 - Also, she’s still wearing this fucking bonnet. BUY THE KID SOME CLOTHES. It’s been days/weeks/months/several years.

0:55 - Ted Danson is sneaking into his home and we’re supposed to be scared. Tom Selleck tries to kill him with a basketball.

0:56 - OK, Selleck just referred to Mary’s arrival as “Sunday morning” so this has been less than a week I guess.


JK guys. It’s clearly not a ghost. People in the ’80s were very stupid and on very many cocaines.

1:02 - Ted Danson asks his mom to help with the baby. Mom says no.


1:05 - Selleck and Gutez go to the theater with some ladies but immediately miss their tiny lady bundle. I bet their boobs started to hurt. That always happened to me when I would leave for a while. Milk struggles, man.

1:06 - This movie has a lot of crying baby. Crying because she misses her mother, the only love she’s ever known, who abandoned her on a doorstep for god knows how long—she could have been there all alone for HOURS while Selleck was running. HOURS. And that’s why we have crying Courtney. I’ve just been crying this whole goddamn movie. I thought this was going to be a fun light little jaunt through my childhood and instead it’s a facepunch of post-partum depression, babies in peril and abandonment. DAMMIT, NIMOY, I THOUGHT WE WERE COOL.


1:09 - Our heroes just went down to a phone booth to handle some drug thug business and now they’re doing some manner of drug thug takedown…with a baby in tow. I mean, if there was a good time for a babysitter this seems like it. But, in fairness, their last sitter is probably a little gunshy. I get it. A kid I sat for told me I could go fuck myself once and I didn’t go back. And he didn’t even bust out guns or tie me up.

1:11 - This drug thug takedown is happening at Tom Selleck’s construction site where he’s a fancy architect. This seems like it would cast a pall over this building. Bad luck for this future bank or office space.

1:14 - Gute was videotaping the exchange betwixt Selleck and the drug thugs and completely fucked it up. YOU HAD ONE JOB, GUTE.

1:17 - The drug thugs busted, the detective guy accepts our heroes without the slightest hint of questioning or a trip to the station. IT’S TIME TO FRISBEE NOW. BLAST THE PETER CETERA.

1:23 - Nancy Travis has arrived. Her hair is very permed and she is very sad. She’s come to take her baby back. THE BABY SHE ABANDONED ON A DOOR STEP.




1:28 - Mary is leaving and our heroes miss her. I miss her too. They grow up and go back to England with their clearly suffering mothers after two weeks of emotional growth and drugbusting for her bachelor caretakers so fast. Sniff.

1:30 - Now I miss my baby. And she’s just at my parents’ house. I HAVE TO SNORGLE HER AND MAKE HER THANK ME FOR NOT LEAVING HER ON A DOOR STEP.

1:33 - They want Mary back so they’re going to Airport to get Baby. They don’t know what flight, what airline, what time, anything, but they are GOING.

1:34 - Of the three London flights on the screen, one is departing. They miss it. They are disappointed. They go home.


1:36 - Nancy Travis is crying because she’s having a hard time working and being a parent and she’s so tired and poor from spending all her money on sitters and doesn’t have time to play with her baby and GIRL. GIRL YOU ARE FELT. I AM CRYING AGAIN.

1:37 - Tom Selleck decides that Nancy Travis and Mary should move in with them and their Google Doodle of an apartment. SHE EVEN GETS HER OWN GOOGLE DOODLE ON THE WALL. BLAST THE JOHN PARR.

Thank you all for joining me on this unexpectedly emotional journey. I’m going to go reapply some mascara. SHUT UP STOP JUDGING ME.

By the by, Three Men and a Little Lady is on OnDemand. If you demand it, I’ll do it. Tell me in the comments if I should.

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