A little over 20 years ago, Three Men and a Cradle was one of those rare things — a foreign-language film that managed to attract a sizable American audience. In fact, it was popular enough to spawn an Americanized remake, Leonard Nimoy’s Three Men and a Baby, a couple years later. (The less said about that the better.) It’s easy to see the crossover appeal, because the story is pretty broad farce that plays in any language.
The premise is simple — saddle three swinging bachelors with an infant and play up their collective imbecility about what to do with a baby (men being notoriously incapable of even minor common sense in these matters — movie rule no. 208). There are complications — it’s a French farce, so that’s a given — and misunderstandings and a lot of broad comedy. It went down well in 1985, and it’s entertaining enough today, but it never really escapes being a comic rehash of the often-filmed western drama Three Godfathers. Don’t look at it too critically, though, and you’ll have an OK, if rather predictable, time.
— reviewed by Ken Hanke