Baby's Day Out (1994)

"Babies are obviously more dangerous than we thought." - Joe Mantegna

Expand the final fifteen minutes of HOME ALONE into a feature-length
film and you've got BABY'S DAY OUT-- an agreeably amusing children's
comedy about a bumbling band of kid kidnapper's who are unwittingly
outwitted by an innocent infant.

The plot tracks a trio of crooks-posed-as-photographers (Joe Mantegna,
Joe Pantoliano, Brian Haley) who steal 9-month-old Bennington August
Cottwell IV, aka Baby Bink, from his old-money home. But the plan goes
awry when Baby crawls out an open window and into the streets of down-
town Chicago!  Following the path of his favorite story, called "Baby's
Day Out," Baby rides a bus and visits the zoo and winds up at a sky-
scraper construction site.

While Baby stays unscathed, the crooks fare worse for the wear.  The
stooges get hit by boards and dropped from roofs and, of course, suffer
multiple crotch injuries. John Wayne Bobbitt should probably steer clear
of this one.

Like he did in PLANES, TRAINS, and AUTOMOBILES, John Hughes again
demonstrates his mastery of the simple set-up and extended execution.
Here, he's aided and abetted by a director, Patrick Read Johnson, whose
choreography could rival a Coen brother. Best bit: baby crawling across
a busy city street.

BABY'S DAY OUT has only two emotions-- awww and ouch-- and the actors
play them accordingly.  Forget the cartoon concern of Lara Flynn Boyle
or Cynthia Nixon, disposable as mom and nanny, respectively, the ones to
watch are the ones who are wincing.

Joe Mantegna is a great head stooge, barking lines like "that little doo
doo machine is my retirement money." Brian Haley has a great scene with
a gorilla, while Joe Pantolianto plays Curly to Mantegna's Moe. *He* is

Needless to say, twins Adam and Jacob Warton are adorable beyond belief.
(Rated "PG"/98 min.)

BOTTOM LINE:  Agreeable children's comedy with noticeable nods to Looney
Tunes, Rube Goldberg, O. Henry, and Moe Howard.  Perfect for kids and
great for any adult diagnosed with the Y-chromosome anomaly commonly
called "the curly gene." Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

Grade: B

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

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