Tis’ the season for comedies and “Junior” gives audiences a pretty good gift. This movie contains some good laughs along with some interesting comedic situations based on stereotypical male and female roles in our society.
Scientist Alex Reese (Schwarzenegger) becomes pregnant why gynecologist Larry Arbogast (DeVito) uses Reese to test an anti-miscarriage drug after considerable coaxing. DeVito stays true to the greedy nature of the characters he usually plays as Arbogast markets the drug to gain back the money his spend to fund the project. Now the male finds out what it’s like to be pregnant and, ironically, that male is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Junior transforms one of Hollywood’s biggest star into an emotional, vulnerable pregnant man. The concept is great, but the movie could’ve been funnier.
Schwarzenegger gives an extraordinary performance in an extraordinary plot, but challenging roles like this one meant he had to compromise his box office clout in action movies. If Schwarzenegger takes more roles like this one, then he might build up to a great Oscar caliber performance (I think he could at least get nominated in a good supporting role).
Emma Thompson stars as the clumsy Dr. Diana Reddin, Reese’s love interest. Thompson seems to have a lot of fun in this role which is a refreshing departure from great films like Howard’s End and Remains of the Day. Frank Lagella’s antagonistic role as Noah Banes doesn’t flow well with the movie and just presents conflict for the protagonists to overcome.
Ivan Reitman (Twins, Ghostbusters) has good direction as he balances the huge stars with the unique concept in an entertaining way without taking the movie ‘over the top’. The plot juggles the touchy sex role issues with comedy using lines like “My body, my choice” and “What will I wear?” Junior takes a diplomatic stance with audience members by not making judgements on the characters’ decisions to keep the subject matter from overtaking the entertainment value of the movie.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler