Saturday

Boss baby issues

I watched boss baby several times with the children and I need to say a few things about it:

Complete lack of breast feeding. It's bottle all the way in this film, maybe they thought that breast feeding was inappropriate in a children's film, which itself is just a symptom of how wierd our culture is.

You might think this is excused by the 'magic baby formula' plot, but it isn't because at the end, we see the new-born baby drinking from a bottle straightaway. 

This film is such a missed opportunity. It's a great concept, that works as a really great metaphor for a new baby's control freakery, especially seen through the eyes of an older, previously only, child.

That metaphor last until about 20 minutes into the film, for which time it is an effective and heart-rending look at the trials of being new parents for the 2nd time, and the impact on the forgotten first child.

However it is at this point replaced for the remainder of the film by a plot strung together with flimsy dream-logic that is completely meaningless, other than as a bizarre device to allow the two children to get along. The metaphor is completely abandoned, which is a shame because it almost moves into more sophisticated territory by talking about a lowering birth 
-rate. The problem is that apparently this is happening because puppies are so cute.

That's not a real problem. I they had *even metaphorically* referenced the real world it could have been a decent twist, but it's just complete nonsense. So you switch off.

Then I thought, well maybe the dream logic hour of the film could make sense, if this section was actually a dream. Elder child could have fallen asleep at the point they get out of bed and discover boss baby on the phone, up until when he gets up again and goes downstairs. 

Still, doesn't make sense. We see plenty of times the reality, from the parents perspective, where the children are playin mildly - telling the audience 'this is an exaggerated version of reality' rather than just pointless nonsense. We'd also have to accept the baby arriving home twice, since he had already turned up, well before we can establish a dream sequence.

There's no way to save this film. Why is sad, because when you watch something like Inside Out, you have to admire the effort that went into making the cold outside reality parts make sense. You can string together the reality parts of that film and it works as a drama. But nothing makes sense at any level in boss baby.

Also: the boss-as-a-baby metaphor doesn't work, which is sad because there are some decent trump-style metaphors that are missed.

Also, my 3yo son watching it was deeply influenced by the angry boss lady in baby land. That's his first impression of a ladyboss and it will stick with him. That's real harm the film makers have done.





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