Mandatory Movies: What To Watch When You Accidentally Get Your Girlfriend Pregnant
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So. You didn’t use protection. Or you did and it failed. (Keep telling yourself that. Wrap up next time.) Now you’re staring down two ominous lines on your girlfriend’s pee stick that confirm she’s pregnant and you’re going to be a father. Congratulations…? Or is this more of a “Holy crap!” moment? Either way, your life is about to change, big-time. What better way to prepare than binge-watching as many Mandatory Movies on parenthood as you can?
The time is now: What To Watch When You Need To Man Up
Don’t worry; these aren’t silly rom-coms or frothy chick flicks. They’re funny and blunt stories about the chaos and joy inherent in bringing a new life into the world. (Because she is going to keep it, right? If not, we have a movie for that, too.) Though you may be venturing into uncharted territory, you’re not the first man to make it through alive. Let these cinematic moms and dads show you the way and forge ahead bravely. You can still have your freak-out later, alone.
The most unbelievable part of this Judd Apatow film is that a pot-smoking loser like Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) could ever get a woman like Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) in bed, even for one drunken night. But let’s go along with it because otherwise there wouldn’t be this dude-friendly film full of crude humor and sharp one-liners. After Alison discovers she’s pregnant, this odd couple has to contend with what it will mean to raise a child together, much less have a relationship, when they have so little in common.
It is one of nature’s cruelest tricks that teenagers can get pregnant. And yet, 16-year-old Juno (Ellen Page) handles her “whoops” better than most adults would. When she discovers she’s with child – thanks to a one-time slip with her best friend Paulie (Michael Cera) – she initially considers abortion, but backs out when she finds out that her baby-to-be already has fingernails. Enter the Lorings, a couple desperate to adopt, and with whom Juno clicks immediately. While the pregnancy has its share of hiccups, Juno maintains a quirky sense of optimism and makes the sacrifices necessary to ensure her baby has the best life possible. If only we could’ve been this mature at her age…or at any age.
Comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) isn’t laughing when she finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand. She doesn’t tell the father, too-good-to-be-true Max (Jake Lacy), about the pregnancy or her plans to have an abortion on Valentine’s Day, but he keeps coming around. Eventually, this dilemma works its way into her stand-up act and the truth comes out. The takeaway? At least your girlfriend told you she was pregnant, and we're going to assume it wasn’t onstage.
'Look Who's Talking'
Parenthood doesn’t get any more hilarious (or heartwarming) than this ‘80s era comedy. New York accountant Mollie (Kirstie Alley) gets pregnant during an affair with a married client (and total douchebag). After giving birth to the adorable Mikey (whose thoughts we hear in voiceover thanks to Bruce Willis), the single mom is overwhelmed and exhausted. Then she meets taxi driver James (John Travolta), a cool cat with a knack for making Mikey laugh and lightening Mollie’s mood. It would appear they’ve stumbled into a happy family, but will James stick around to raise a kid that isn’t his?
This ensemble comedy starring Steve Martin features a big, over-involved family where pregnancies pop up unexpectedly in less-than-ideal circumstances. Youthful cameos by Keanu Reeves (as a dopey horndog) and Joaquin Phoenix (as a teen porn addict) add a gritty edge to this timeless film that explores the unpredictable, beautiful mess that is parenthood.
Geneticist Alex Hesse (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and OB-GYN Larry Arbogast (Danny DeVito) have developed a drug believed to reduce the chance of miscarriage. But without approval from the FDA, the dynamic duo is doubtful they’ll find a willing woman to be their guinea pig…so Alex volunteers and gets impregnated with a donor egg named "Junior." Along with experiencing the discomfort inherent in pregnancy, Alex also bonds with the baby, and refuses to end the experiment as planned. Now he has to go into hiding before the world catches on that he’s the first man to ever give birth.
Once upon a time, Hugh Grant was Hollywood’s bachelor hero, someone single men could look up to as they fervently avoided marriage and fatherhood. In this film, Grant’s character is Samuel, a child psychiatrist sideswiped by his longtime girlfriend Rebecca’s unplanned pregnancy. While the plot is somewhat predictable (of course he has a turn of heart before the credits roll), Robin Williams, Tom Arnold, and Jeff Goldblum co-star, bringing some serious comedic chops to a silly romp of a movie.
'Father of the Bride Part II'
If you’ve never seen Father of the Bride, grab your girlfriend and do so now. We’ll wait. This movie picks up shortly after where its predecessor left off. George Banks (Steve Martin) had just gotten used to the idea of his beloved daughter Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) being grown-up enough to get married when she announces that she’s pregnant. As George does an anxious tailspin about becoming a grandfather before his time, he gets hit with another surprise: his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), is pregnant, too. The crazy gets turned up a notch when wedding planner Frank (Martin Short) is hired as the nursery designer and everyone (except Nina) takes turns spazzing over the impending arrival of the little ones.
Sure, your girlfriend’s all gung-ho about becoming a mom…but that’s only because she has no idea what she’s getting into. Never has the post-partum period been so brutally and accurately depicted – in all its breast milk, post-baby body fat, and exhaustion glory – than in Tully, another Diablo Cody pregnancy project. Marlo (Charlize Theron) just had her third child and she’s struggling to function. Respite arrives in the form of Tully (Mackenzie Davis), a night nanny who makes all of Marlo’s worries dissipate like spit-up in the wash. She’s almost too good to be true…
Don’t take for granted the fact that you got someone pregnant. It’s not always as easy as an accident. To wit: Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) are a married couple trying to conceive in their 40s. They’re running out of time, money, and patience thanks to the high-stress nature of infertility treatment and a heartbreaking attempt at adoption. After a failed round of IVF with TESE and ICSI (if you don’t know what those acronyms mean, consider yourself lucky), they contemplate using an egg donor. Richard’s step-niece Sadie (Kayli Carter) just happens to be young, cute, and crashing the couple's apartment. Will they finally get the one good egg they’ve hung their hopes on? Or will they lose their last chance at the fertility lottery? This painfully funny film explores the lengths some people must go to in pursuit of parenthood.