It could've been worse, but it could've been a lot better. The baby and the camaraderie of the three male leads make it watchable, but I had trouble making its pieces add up into anything coherent and reasonable in either story or message.
Let's investigate. First, the things I liked:
- As noted, cutest baby evah (Angel, played by little Juanna Sanghvi).
All movie children now have a new, impossibly high standard of charm to live up to. I thought the clips of her were very well integrated into the movie. They must have had a camera on her for aaaages to capture all those different expressions and gestures while wearing the proper outfit for the scene. I never felt like she was just on a sound stage away from the shoot - she always looked right for what was going on. The Angel's-eye view of the dads leaning over her and goofing around was fun too. I have to give the filmmakers many points for their handling of the baby, both as a character in the story and as a logistical concern. Update to post (September 11, 2008): Thanks to commenter Pessimissimo for reminding me about the "baby abandoned in the rain" scene, which made me totally ill. I think there were other, less horrifying, more realistic ways to show that the guys are stupid. I cried during it too, so not only was my intelligence insulted, I also had to admit that I am a giant softie who is easily emotionally manipulated. Rrrr! [Shakes fist at filmmakers and takes back some of the points previously awarded!]
- Some energy was given to exploring and supporting the idea that non-traditional family structures 1) can be perfectly good environments to raise children and 2) can be full of fun and love. Fab!
- It has two very satisfying songs (the title track and "Mast Kalandar," whose flappy stompy dance moves I also quite like).
- Chupke Chupke reference!
- If you have these three clowns as dads, at least they'll sing and dance for you!
- They also seem to spare no embarrassment trying to amuse you. That's pretty endearing, and I chuckled a few times.
- I don't even like babies (and in college I never had that black-and-white poster of the shirtless man holding an infant), but even to me this scene was a-dor-a-ble.
DIL SQUISH. Similarly, Al (Fardeen Khan) tucks Angel in and says "Good night, not-my-daughter, good night." That's what I'm going to say next time I get to hold a baby for three minutes and then happily return it to its rightful owners.
Friendship is valued and delighted in! Right on!
- No one makes a big deal about people having sex before they're married.
- Al yells at the sports heroes who make commercials but don't deliver in their primary career.
Cute, you former Mr. Provogue, you.
- The rich Indians in Australia have white servants!
- Contextless cheerleaders! It's been awhile since I saw any of them.
- How'd they do the lean in the title song?
- It's a Christmas miracle!
And we'll name the baby Angel! Gag me.
- The idea that an unconventional family structure can work is dropped in favor of a baby needing both her parents to be happy and both parents needing to present for a family to be "complete," as I believe Boman Irani's character phrases it. Apparently neither a man nor a woman should raise a child on their own, and god help any child who is raised that way.
- I might be wrong about this, but I think that the movie implies that Vidya's character (Isha) should want to 1) forgive Akshay's character (Arush) for his utter lies and duplicitousness in Delhi (or wherever they were - I thought I heard "Dilli" but saw the Taj Mahal in the background, but whatever) and 2) want him heavily involved in their daughter's upbringing. I'd say she's quite justified in declining both of those options, at least while she gets to know the actual Arush. If someone creates a whole alternate personality just to get you to sleep with them, you get to be mad at them, and you also get to make a judgment about the workings of their moral compass. I'm not saying Arush should have no rights to the child, but I think we viewers were supposed to want Isha to forgive him really quickly and accept him into her daughter's life right away. Why shouldn't she get to have time to learn about him and his qualities before she's excited about him being back in her life and trying to be a part of Angel's? She also does not deserve his taunting in that song in which he follows her around Sydney making puppy-dog eyes and singing "Your anger is artificial, you're being rude." What do you expect, jerk?
- Speaking of which, Boman Irani's character, Isha's dad, is such a nitwit. "Hahaha, I'll just pretend your child died and leave it on someone's doorstep! That'll fix everything!" However, it's a great nod to Aa Gale Lag Jaa, in which Om Prakash does something very similar to Sharmila and Shashi.
NO. You wouldn't get to say that even if you had been an ideal partner.
- It is not cool to call your daughter or her mother "bitch."
- I'm going to skip over the poo jokes and talk about sexual conquests. You heard them. You know.
- There is no chemistry between Vidya and Akshay, and I'm not convinced their characters loved each other at the end. It was convenient and "right" for them to be together, so they were. The best pair in the movie is Al and Tanmay (Riteish Deshmukh). Vidya's character is neither interesting nor pleasant, and I didn't care about her at all. And, sadly, Boman was unable to save the film (not his fault). Anupam Kher's character did not help matters any, and the DDLJ jokes were too clunky.
One more of squooshy-wooshy baby cheeks?