Picks and Pans Review: Hree Men and a Baby

updated 12/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/14/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Hollywood producers know that statistically it's usually the woman who decides what movie a couple will see. They also know that most women love babies. That explains the rash of diaper films lately. But women also love successful, good-looking men. Put them together and presto! It's formulaic, but it works. Women will be able to laugh, with smug superiority if not compassion, as three successful, good-looking bachelors, Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg, become subservient to a 6-month-old girl. The baby, left outside their penthouse party pad, is a result of one of Danson's flings. But Dan-son is out of the country for a while, so Selleck and Guttenberg try to raise the baby with one hand while reading Dr. Spock with the other. "I think she doodled again. It's your turn to change her," Guttenberg says. "I'll give you a thousand dollars if you'll do it," replies Selleck. After Danson returns, all three have become so attached to the baby that they are desolate when the mother shows up to take her to London. Director Leonard Nimoy and screenwriters James Orr and Jim Cruickshank have deftly translated the hit French film Three Men and a Cradle for American audiences. The three lead performances, Selleck's especially, are wonderfully self-effacing. Even though there's an intrusive drug-smuggling subplot and the ending seems to bundle everything up too neatly, the film never loses its good-natured charm. (PG)

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