First off, don’t worry. There are most definitely no spoilers in this review. Mostly because there’s no actual plot in this movie. Babies is a documentary following the first year of four babies around the world; San Francisco, Japan, Mongolia, and Namibia.
So there were a lot of tits in this movie. Especially at the beginning. At first, I thought it was a movie made by lactation consultants trying to encourage everyone in the world to breastfeed. All four mothers nursed their newborns, and in the case of the Namibian mom, she nursed multiple babies. She was perpetually topless, and holy cow (pun intended?) she had some saggy girls. I can’t imagine how many babies she nursed and for how long to get as low as she got (yes, getting low is considered sexy when referring to dancing, but not in this case).
Aaaaanyway, my favourite baby was the Mongolian one, Bayar. He was bad ass. He essentially raised himself and taught himself everything. He was brought home on a motorcycle (with no car seat obvs). Instant credibility. He slept on a bed with no rails and was left there entrusted not to roll off. Amazing. His older brother beat him up a lot and he kinda just tolerated it. My favourite scene was when he was tethered to a bed because no one was supervising him, and he entertained himself with a roll of toilet paper. It was probably his families’ only supply for the entire year, but homeboy decided to unravel it and then eat it. And proceeded to laugh as he did it. Basically he was the chubbiest and happiest, so I loved him. The fact he was so alone, yet so happy, was a real testament to his character I think.
I didn’t care much for Mari, the Japanese girl. She was the resident curmudgeon of the group. It’s a known fact I have an Asian baby obsession, but frankly she was a spoiled brat. It seemed like she was never happy. Not with her plethora of toys, not with the classes her mom took her to, and not with the playdates. She threw a fit when her shit ton of toys failed to entertain her for more than 2 minutes. Cut to Bayar, playing happily with the toilet paper. The dichotomy really hit the point home.
Ultimately I really liked the message of the film; despite differences in culture, geographical location, and socioeconomic status, babies are all the same. They babble, they play, they learn to crawl, they learn to walk. They eat, they poop, they show affection (except for my baby). The producers were smart to make this a 79 minute film, because hubby fell asleep like five times, and it wouldn’t have held my attention for much longer either. We crave action, plot, and suspense.
In summary, watch Babies if you think you coddle your baby too much. It may inspire you to neglect them a bit more. It made me realize I pay waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much attention to O, and that a little more independent play wouldn’t kill her, but probably strengthen her character a bit. (Oh who am I kidding? I’ll be watching this kid like a hawk until she’s 24.)