Don’t you hate it when something that was so beloved to you as a kid is ruined forever? Maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But it was sort of ruined. Growing up, I loved the 1980’s film Baby Boom starring Diane Keaton, who is still one of my all time favorite actors. I noticed it was on Netflix, and settled in to watch. Watching films that I loved as a kid is wrapping myself in a blanket of softness and warmth. I smiled as the familiar 80’s soundtrack started, preparing myself to be lulled into a peaceful state of childlike contentment. Then I started to get annoyed.
Diane Keaton stars as a cold corporate executive, too busy to marry her long-time boyfriend or have children, who only cares about her career. Then she inherits an absolutely adorable baby girl from her only relative, (!) suspend your disbelief for that one, miraculously discovers her maternal instinct, becomes all zen and peaceful and compassionate, moves to a farmhouse in Vermont, falls in love with the handsome small-town veterinarian, whom she will probably marry, and lives happily ever after. Ugh. Maybe this movie was considered groundbreaking in 1987, but today I couldn’t make it through 10 minutes. It is possible for a woman to be successful at work and not be a cold, withholding, rhymes with witch at the same time, a stereotype that is still perpetuated to this day. As a married, childfree working woman, who isn’t sure when or if she’ll ever become a mom, this entire concept just rubs me the wrong way. I have great relationships, especially with my husband and extended family, including many nieces and nephews who adore me. I’m not some soulless robot stereotype. I ended up switching over to 9 to 5, another childhood fave. A screwball comedy featuring three women banding together to take down their sexist pig of a boss and getting well-deserved promotions in the long run? That’s a story I can get behind.