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Superior Sequels: Three Men and a Baby vs Three Men and a Little Lady

This week’s Superior Sequels debate was inspired by Mrs Screen Room’s recent desire to watch both films back to back.

Today we’re looking at an 80s classic and its early 90s sequel:

Three Men and a Baby (1987) vs Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)

I hadn’t seen either of these films for ages until a couple of weeks ago. I’m surprised my sister didn’t wear out her VHS copy of the second one when we were in our teens, she watched it so much. And now I think about it, I might’ve even seen that one more times than the first one.

Whenever I think about Three Men and a Baby I remember the whole “ghost boy” mystery that surrounded it years ago. In one scene when Ted Danson’s mother turns up at the apartment, the creepy “ghost boy” appears to be peering out from behind the curtain in the background, seemingly unnoticed in post production.

As it turned out there were no ghostly goings-on on the set of the movie, and the “ghost” was revealed to be a cardboard cut-out of Danson’s character (who plays an actor in the film). The cut-out was a prop from a scene that never made it into the movie. Even so, it was all a bit freaky in the days before you could just go on the internet and Google it.

But I digress…

Directed by Mr Spock himself (Leonard Nimoy), Three Men and a Baby (which is based in the 1985 French film “Trois hommes et un couffin” (Three Men and a Cradle)) was one of the biggest American box office hits of the year, beating out competition from movies like Lethal Weapon, Predator, Crocodile Dundee and even Dirty Dancing.

It has some good laughs and it plays on the heart strings with a nice sweet story about three New York bachelors whose lives are turned upside down when they find a baby (Mary, the love child of Danson) on their doorstep.

The sequel is more of a comedy-romance that centres mainly on Tom Selleck’s character who has since fallen in love with Mary’s mother, Sylvia (Nancy Travis), but is reluctant to confess his feelings. Things go t#ts up when Sylvia decides to marry someone else and move back to her “native” England, taking Mary with her.

Both are incredibly easy-to-watch “Sunday afternoon” movies, but which is the better film?

Is the original film that has you singing “Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight” long after the end credits role, and that made women (and men) of the 80s swoon over three of the biggest male actors of the time struggling with baby-related tasks the indisputable winner? OR, is the follow up that focussed on romance, and that made the song “Waiting for a Star to Fall” by Boy Meets Girl an absolute banger on its second release another rare example of a Superior Sequel..?

Have your say below in the comments.

(By the way, a third movie entitled Three Men and a Bride was announced in 2010 with the main cast members all set to return. Sadly though it was abandoned in favour of a reboot that, as of 2020 had Zac Effron cast in a starring role. So far it hasn’t materialised…)

Here's a video of Tom Selleck talking about the Three Men and a Baby "ghost", as well as the cancelled sequel.


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