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Three Men and a Cradle(3 Hommes et un couffin)

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France · 1985
Rated PG-13 · 1h 46m
Director Coline Serreau
Starring Roland Giraud, Michel Boujenah, André Dussollier, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu
Genre Comedy

Three young men (Jacques, Pierre and Michel) share an apartment in Paris, and have many girlfriends and parties. Once, during a party, a friend of Jacques' tells him he has a quite compromising package to deliver, and asks him if he can leave it discreetly at their place. Jacques agrees and, as he works as a steward, flies away for a one month trip in Japan, telling Pierre and Michel about the package. Then, one of Jacques' former girlfriends drops a baby before their door, making Pierre and Michel believing it is the package they are waiting for. Their lives are then completely changed.

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Time Out by

In this comedy, three Parisian swingers find their bachelor pad invaded by the fruit of a night of forgotten passion. Noisy, and not short of unison waddling walks.


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

Serreau directs for maximum freneticism, with her actors rushing around and regurgitating great torrents of imperfectly subtitled dialogue (a gratuitous subplot involving drug traffickers seems to have been inserted just to double the hysteria), and while there are more than a few laughs, most of them are laughs of recognition—seeing these gags again is like coming across long-lost (and vaguely embarrassing) relations.


Chicago Tribune by Gene Siskel

Predictably cute. The only surprise about 3 Men and a Cradle is that it is the hit in Paris, winning three French Oscars, being nominated for an American Oscar, and, unbelievably, outgrossing E.T. and Rambo at the French box office. But then the French have loved the last few Jerry Lewis movies, too.


Orlando Sentinel by Jay Boyar

A simple equation, perhaps, but when it comes to comedy, simpler is frequently funnier. This formula has already worked beautifully in France, where the movie has broken all box-office records and has won three Cesars (the French equivalent of the Oscar) including one for best picture.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

No one with the slightest knowledge of human nature will be able to find a single moment of this film to believe. It is all formula, every last miserable frame of it.


Los Angeles Times by Sheila Benson

3 Men and a Cradle is a perfectly pleasant little piffle; watching it with an audience you'll probably hear, as I did, that soft cooing sound people make at the sight of a really adorable baby. This picture won't rot your brain or lead your children into nasty habits. It's just French pablum.


The New York Times by Vincent Canby

Three Men and a Cradle is almost totally charmless. It's funny in the way of someone who, in attempting to explain a joke, thoroughly destroys the humor, which, I assume, is mostly the fault of Coline Serreau, who wrote and directed it.

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