Film Review: “Baby’s Day Out” (1994) ★★★★

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How many movies do we have that we could go back to and re-watch it with the entire family? I am sure the answer would be “It’s Wonderful Life”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, “Home Alone” series, “The Sound of music”. And that list, let’s be fair, can continue. However, there is another movie “Baby’s Day Out” written and directed by John Hughes that can proudly join the abovementioned list. And if you happen to have seen that, I am sure, you would have agreed with me on this.

Austin “Bink” Cotwell IV (played by twin brothers Adam and Jacob Worton) lives with his parents in a big mansion. He is little, cute and adventurous. One day the most inexperienced, incompetent criminals Eddie, Norby, and Veeko decide to kidnap Bink, demanding ransom. All is good except one thing: apparently their IQ was lower than the one-year-old boy’s, which they soon find out about themselves.

Eddie, Norby, an Veeko pretend to be photographers. Calmly and in a very friendly fashion they enter the Cotwell mansion. Laraine Cotwell, Bink’s mother, wanted her son’s picture to be in the newspaper and her wish w about to come true. While an impatient mother was on her way up to her room to pick the best dress possible, Bink was kidnapped. Being desperate and on the edge of a breakdown, the FBI comes to the picture to investigate the matter and find the baby. However, soon it will be proven that the FBI and the entire New York will have a little to do before the baby’s whereabouts will be identified – as the baby has its own plan to enjoy his day out – to follow his favorite book, page by page, but alone in the big city.

I have never felt so bad for any criminal ever appearing in films as I did for Eddie, Norby, and Veeko in Baby’s Day Out. They not only knew nothing how to follow their own plan, they miss an opportunity to get their ransom, and Bink slips away from their finger. It’s important to mention that Bink is a fearless boy: he enjoys height, New York, big shopping centers, buses, and even the zoo. However, one thing baby Bink would hardly give up – his favorite book. On his way to explore the storyline Bink loved, he travels all over. He accidentally and unintentionally hurts his kidnappers, which I should confess I found hard to watch those scenes.

The credit for Baby’s Day Out should go to the editor, who cleverly and with great patience puts all the required pieces together where even the scenes with Bink, that most likely were shot independently and separately look ridiculously funny. The actors, of course, Joe Mantegna as the lead of his little gang, Brian Haley as Veeko and Joe Pantoliano were able to create such unique characters, whether you want it or not, you start rooting for them… of course, you will certainly feel their pains as they try to catch the lost baby.

In conclusion, many can say that John Hughes’ Baby’s Day Out is a goofy film with a storyline that will never happen in real life. Of course, you might be right as we are all observational outside. But this movie was not about people being able to notice a child in the shopping center or in the bus, this film is about little baby who decides to take himself out for a walk, but in a very strange and cute way. Therefore, even after many decades have passed, Baby’s Day Out will still be able to retain its legacy and remain as one of the best family movies ever made.

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