A film that isn't completely successful to begin with, "Nine Months" is still impressive in that it works well enough due to the strengths of the actors involved. Directed by Chris Columbus, widely known for rather light, occasionally corny fare, "Nine Months" at least has a few moments of slightly edgier humor.
Hugh Grant stars as Samuel, a child psychologist whose practice is doing very well and whose relationship with Rebecca(Julianne Moore) has never been better. Then, one day, Rebecca announces that she's pregnant. She looks to share in the joy with Samuel, but rather than find him becoming thrilled with the prospect of fatherhood, the only thing that he's feeling is panic.
Meanwhile, the two meet up with the Dwyers(Tom Arnold and Joan Cusack), one of those couples who are mostly obnoxious, but good folks at heart. Once Rebecca becomes unhappy with Samuel's reluctance towards parenthood, she moves in with them, but, of course, it's only a matter of time before things work themselves out.
The film is uneven, but is often livened by several funny moments, such as a chaotic drive to the hospital towards the end of the film or a scene where Grant and Arnold attack a guy in a green dinosaur suit promoting toys after a few comments directed towards the two. The performances are generally above-average and are what really makes the material more entertaining than it probably otherwise would have been. Grant plays panic better than most actors, and simply does that well again here. Moore is an excellent actress who makes the otherwise rather thin role of Rebecca much fuller. A few hilarious scenes involve Robin Williams as a foreign doctor who gets things confused too often. Arnold and Cusack as the Dwyers are either really irritating or, at best, somewhat funny.
Overall, "Nine Months" is an otherwise average comedy that gets a boost from fine performances and a few strong laughs.
VIDEO: (layer change: 44:25) This is a fantastic presentation from Fox - although not perfect, Donald McAlpine's often beautiful cinematography contributes to the occasional gorgeous looking scene. Sharpness is generally very strong; there's the occasional scene that looks to be intentionally soft, but the softness isn't too noticable.
Colors look perfect throughout the film - there's some fantastic looking outdoor scenery with deep, rich colors - vibrant blue skies and other colors that look striking. There's really only a couple of minor problems to be found - just a couple of tiny traces of pixelation and a handful of light speckles, but nothing that's going to cause a distraction. Overall, "Nine Months" recieves a very pleasing effort from Fox for this DVD release - not one of the best, but one of the better efforts in terms of image quality from the studio recently.
SOUND: "Nine Months" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 on this DVD release, but like most comedies, the surrounds are rarely used - even their rare light use is not always even noticable. Aside from the mostly dialogue-driven nature of the movie, the score by Hans Zimmer does receive a little bit of attention. Dialogue remains natural and clear throughout. Pretty much the definition of a "comedy audio presentation" - just the basics.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, although the building block letters that make up some of the selections as well as some other touches are amusing.
EXTRAS: Two trailers for "9 Months" are included, as well as a French trailer and 2 TV Spots for the film. In the Fox Flix section you will find trailers for fellow 4/17/01 Fox DVD releases "Truth About Cats and Dogs" as well as "9 to 5", "For The Boys", "Norma Rae", "Truth About Cats and Dogs", and "Working Girl".
Final Thoughts: "Nine Months" is a cute little film - a few good laughs, but nothing too laugh-out-loud funny. Fox's DVD provides excellent image quality, decent audio and a couple of very minor extras. Maybe worth a rental.
The Film ** 1/2
Video 92/A = (368/400 possible points)
Audio: 87/B = (348/400 possible points)
Extras: 65/D = (195/300 possible points)
Menus: 71/C- = (142/200 possible points)
Value: 81/B = (243/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: ** 1/2
DVD GRADE: B