Ihave a weakness for romantic comedies from the ’80s, and Baby Boom with Diane Keaton is one I’ve watched a hundred times. It was written by Nancy Meyers, who is behind more good house-movies than you can shake a stick at, including The Parent Trap, Father of the Bride, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Holiday. When she works on a movie, you know the scenery is going to be good!
In “Baby Boom,” Keaton plays J.C. Wiatt–aka the “Tiger Lady” who is so driven and ambitious at work that she has never really made time for a personal life. Then a distant relative dies and leaves her young daughter Elizabeth in J.C.’s not-so-maternal hands.
J.C. has never wanted to be a mother and has no plans to keep Elizabeth, but finds herself bonding with the girl despite herself. Motherhood doesn’t mesh with high-powered corporate life, however, so J.C. flees the rat-race of New York City and buys a charming old house in the small town of Hadleyville, Vermont.
In the beginning, J.C. lives in this sleek, gray, contemporary apartment in NYC that reflects who she is as a high-powered businesswoman:
Bringing baby Elizabeth home to a house filled with leather, glass, and chrome:
Learning how to change a diaper (her boyfriend, played by Harold Ramis, breaks up with her as soon as he realizes J.C. plans to keep the baby):
When J.C. can no longer keep up with her high-powered business career, she quits her job and takes Elizabeth to live in the tiny town of Hadleyville, Vermont:
J.C. has bought this charming yellow farmhouse from the classified ads, sight unseen:
J.C. spends the long winter inside the farmhouse making applesauce from all the apples she gathered in her orchard. She later begins selling it as “Country Baby” baby food, and it’s a big hit with yuppie parents:
There are some problems with the roof that become apparent during a snowstorm:
The plumber explains that no, she’ll have to tap into the county water line, which is several miles down the road, and that’s going to be kind of expensive. J.C. has a meltdown–the house has had one problem after another and she’s broke.
She wakes up in Dr. Sexy’s Cooper’s office (Sam Shepard), and she pours her heart out to him–including how lonely she is and how she really needs a man. He lets her cry on his shoulder. Then a horse walks in and Dr. Cooper says, “My next patient is here.”
She eventually gets over her humiliation of their first meeting and they fall in love.
The living room–and final scene of the movie, which always gets me a little sniffly:
I think the sets have held up pretty well considering they were designed in 1987. All these years later, I still love that yellow house.
There was apparently a TV sitcom based on Baby Boom with the same name that lasted only one season in 1988. Does anyone remember it? According to the IMDb website, Kate Jackson played J.C. Wiatt and Joy Behar played Helga the nanny. I’d love to see that!
If You’re Hooked on Houses from Movies: