Blu-ray Review: Baby Boom - Twilight Time Limited Edition

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Not for nothing was Baby Boom, the 1987 Diane Keaton comedy, adapted for the small screen. Though the 1988 sitcom didn't last long (several of its 13 episodes didn't even air), it seemed a natural that creators Nancy Myers and Charles Shyer to give it a shot. Their movie plays like an overlong sitcom episode, albeit one buoyed by an effervescent leading performance. Keaton plays so-called "Tiger Lady" J.C. Wiatt, a career-driven woman who toils endlessly at a consulting firm. Her life is turned topsy-turvy after receiving an "inheritance:" a young child from a distant relative. Again, very sitcom-y (obviously you can't just will someone a child and have it dropped off unannounced at the airport).

The baby humor is piled on relentlessly as J.C. attempts to juggle raising a child with maintaining her relentless work pace. Harold Ramis is on-hand for a few dry laughs as J.C.'s live-in boyfriend, a banker who bails when the baby-rearing takes over J.C.'s life. Sam Shepard steps in as J.C.'s more compatible, almost too-good-to-be-true love interest once she moves out of NYC to rural Vermont. If the picture didn't feel like a fantasy from the outset, it eventually moves into that territory after J.C. shells out for a money-pit house (sight unseen, no less). 
 
rsz_babyboom_bdbookletcover.png Supporting its made-for-TV feel, Baby Boom (new to Blu-ray as a limited, 3,000-unit release courtesy of Twilight Time) became something of a home video phenomenon back in the late-'80s VHS heyday. Its low ambition and mostly family-friendly demeanor make it reliable choice for multi-generation get-togethers. The entire affair is rather obvious in its manipulations—you can't help but sympathize with J.C. and her adopted bundle of joy Elizabeth. It's an exceptionally bland movie, but one enlivened by Keaton's exasperated turn.

Twilight Time's Blu-ray offers an attractive HD upgrade, with a generally clean transfer that retains the somewhat grainy look of films of this era. Audio is crisp in the lossless DTS-HD 2.0 stereo mix. Bill Conti's score is isolated (along with effects) in a separate DTS-HD 2.0 mix. The primary special feature is a commentary by Twilight Time in-house film historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman.

As a blast of nostalgia for those of us who remember the '80s, Baby Boom is the movie equivalent of comfort food. Diane Keaton's Golden Globe-nominated performance keeps it afloat, even during its corniest, cringiest moments. Visit Screen Archives or the official Twilight Time website for ordering information.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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