Sunday, July 29, 2007

Baby Boom--posted by Marisa Aguilera-Wells

Diane Keaton plays J.C. Wiatt in Baby Boom, a movie about a woman who realizes, after inheriting a distant cousin's 14 month-old daughter, that life is not all about work. J.C. works 70-80 hours a week in New York City as a Marketing Manager at the high-profile company Sloane, Curtis & Co. This hard working woman who proclaims to "live, eat and dream" her job lives with her equally work-consumed boyfriend Stven (played by Harold Ramis) and appears to have a relationship that's as exciting as a business meeting. J.C., nicknamed 'The Tiger Lady' at work, has just received notice that she is up for partner! As she is given the good news by her boss, Fritz Curtis, she is questioned about her capabilities as a partner because she is a woman. He reminds her of the sacrificies that she would have to make as a woman, and that if she did make partner, motherhood would ont be possible. After hearing his concern, J.C. confidentally exclaims, "I know what I need to do to make it."

That night she receives a Trans-Atlantic phone call from England notifying her that her very distant cousin has died and she has been listed in the will as the only relative, therefore is entitled to an inheritance! A static-filled line cuts the phone call short and J.C. assumes that what she has been left is money. J.C. arrives at the airport the following day to sign for her inheritance only to find out that it's not money that she's been left, but a 14 month old little girl named Elizabeth! What's so incredibly funny is that you see right away that J.C. has obviously never been around babies, and has no idea how to handle this little girl! So, she spends the rest of her day juggling Elizabeth and her all-too demanding job. She decides immediately that in order to maintain her life, she must give the baby up for adoption. She eventually does meet with the prospective adoptive parents within the week, but you can read from the body language up through this point that J.C. has actually grown to like her new role as 'mom'. As she begins to sign over Elizabeth to the adoptive parents at the agency, J.C. makes a decision to keep this new baby in her life and attempt to keep up her working career and motherhood.

Of course, motherhood isn't in the cards to fit in with her current life. J.C. loses her job, her boyfriend, and her life in New York City in record time and makes the decision to leave NYC once and for all for a quiet, slow-paced life on an apple orchard farmhouse in small town Hadleyville, Vermont. J.C. realizes very quickly that it's a bit too slow-paced for her and begins to make apple sauce baby food (from her large apple orchard) to take up her spare time. This hobby soon turned into a large business, as J.C. uses her marketting knack to sell her fresh baby food products to stores across the country! In the midst of all of her work towards her new company, 'Country Baby', J.C. also meets and falls for the local veterinarian, Dr. Cooper. This story comes full circle when her old company in New York, who was so anxious to get rid of her after she entered motherhood, wants to market and own of piece of her booming and up and coming business for millions of dollars. J.C. sees a wonderful opportunity to reclaim her old life and proudly takes a meeting with her old colleagues to discuss the marketing of her company! Now, you're probably ask yourself the questions... does she take the offer? Does she decide to leave her new life behind for the life that she pursued so vigorously before? You know what? I'm not going to tell you! You'll have to find out for yourself! Let's just say that it's a great ending!

Although sugar-coated with laughter, this film immediately addresses the misconception that women are to stay at home and be mothers, and if they do decide to enter the workforce they have to give up a family life. J.C.'s boss, Fritz, directly says that a man can do both, because he has a wife at home to take care of the children. J.C., however, is told that she must choose one or the other, and balancing work and family in such a fast-paced world is impossible. But, although the film exposes this misconception about females in the working world, it also manages to show J.C. as an empowering example to all women across the U.S. In the end, although men had told her she would be unable to, she manages to balance work and motherhood- and she does it on her own terms. She battles against the big-wigs of the corporate world and wins!

I would most definitely consider this film a feminist one. It makes light of the situations women face every single day as they transition between working and motherhood. It poses the question that women ask themselves as moms: Can I do this and work at the same time? If I do, will I be giving any less of myself to either? This movie says, yes you can. Women can do anything.

Baby Boom is honeslty one of my favorite movies of all time. When I found out I was pregnant with my son (and working full time for the Air Force), I found peace in watching this movie. I saw the struggles that J.C. went through at her high-profile, demanding company, and how she realized that motherhood and a partnership just wasn't realistic. Although she is a fictional character, J.C. helped me to recognize as I neared my son's due date that even though it maybe wasn't best for me to be a military mom, I could instead be a mom who works in a company more suited to family life. Sounds kind of like her story. So here I am, not even one year later, and I have left the military and am gaining an education in order to find myself a job that suits both my son and I! It's definitely possible to find a happy medium at work and home-life... and although the transition may be hard, I believe it's worth it in the long run!

Here are 3 resources to answer any of your questions that you may have about this wonderful film!

Posted By: Marisa Aguilera-Wells


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