But the plot of an unfortunately abandoned child being the catalyst that brings two—or sometimes three!—adults together is nothing new (though no other movie has had the gall to kill off Christina Hendricks in the process!). While “Life As We Know It” may be the only one not set in or around New York City, there are plenty of films that use this well-worn trope. Check out our list of five adoption-centric rom-coms after the jump!
During the greed-is-good era of the ’80s, we meet Diane Keaton’s go-getting character J.C. Wiatt, a driven Manhattan businesswoman who inherits a toddler from a cousin she hasn’t seen in over 30 years. Unfortunately, taking care of baby results in losing her job, her boyfriend and her lifestyle. But a move to Vermont solves everything—She keeps the kid, opens a gourmet baby food company (wonder where she got that idea!?!) and lucks out in love with a local veterinarian. Thank goodness for suburbia!
Apparently 1987 was a popular year for adoption comedies, with “Three Men and a Baby” as top toddler. Starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson as three NYC bachelors living together in the big city, the trio have their lives turned upside-down by the arrival of a baby on their doorstep—the love child of Ted’s character and a former costar. And as most on-screen men are incompetent when it comes to child care, you can probably guess that hilarious hi-jinks ensue. The film was so popular that a sequel, “Three Men and a Little Lady,” debuted three years later, and there’s talk of a possible third, “Three Men and a Bride.” We’d definitely pay $12 to see the Selleck ’stache back in action on the big screen.
Arguably one of Adam Sandler’s best films, this comedy follows his character Sonny after he is not only dumped by his Hooters girlfriend but has to hear all about his roommate Kevin (Jon Stewart!) proposing to his girlfriend (Leslie Mann!). This state of tumult only increases after Kevin’s illegitimate son, Julian, shows up at their apartment while Kevin is away, and Sonny has to take care of him until Kevin returns. And wouldn’t you know it? Taking care of Julian causes Sonny to abandon his childish ways, and he ends up landing the girl of his dreams and becoming a success story while he’s at it.
“Raising Helen” centers around Helen Harris (Kate Hudson), a Manhattan fashionista, who finds herself in custody of her sister and brother-in-law’s three children after the parents die in a car accident. Helen has to juggle raising the children—Hayden Panettiere, Spencer Breslin and Abigail Breslin—as well as keep up with her fast-paced lifestyle. She falls for both the kids and their school principal, the ever-adorable John Corbett.
Any film that stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart is a win in our (cook) book. This delicious flick about rival cooks scores bonus points for landing Abigail Breslin a second spot on our list as the child of Catherine’s sister who, surprise, surprise, has died in a car accident. Abigail’s character Zoe takes an immediate liking to Aaron’s Nick, and their relationship brings Nick and Catherine’s Kate closer together. Eventually their kitchen rivalry turns into a saucy romance, and the three of them end up opening up their own bistro at the end of the film. Bon appetit!
Are you planning on seeing “Life as We Know It”? Which of the films on our list are your favorites?