Welcome to a He Said/ She Said review of films! We’re just two newlyweds trying to navigate sharing the Netflix queue while balancing our divergent tastes in movie genres. Sometimes we agree – and sometimes one of us loses our place in line!
We’re introduced to hard-working Thea Clayhill (Lindsay Lohan), a young woman who’s become her high school aged sister’s guardian after their parents die in a car crash. She desperately needs her job at a publishing house and does anything to keep it, despite the verbal abuse from her cranky boss, Jerry Steinwald (Chris Parnell). Moments away from being fired, Thea saves her job by blurting out that she’s pregnant – a clever lie that grows nearly as much as her faux baby bump.
The death rattle of Lindsay Lohan’s (formerly promising) career is heard over her flatly delivered lines. Her supporting cast is pretty great, though Cheryl Hines and Chris Parnell certainly deserve better. The film was surely meant to be a big budget production, but instead went straight to DVD when it was clear the leading “lady” wasn’t up for the job.
He Said: Alright, Lindsay Lohan! Maybe we’ll get to see her tits.
She Said: Or her hoo-haw – it is a film about labor after all. Oh, wait. I’m getting her confused with Britney Spears.
He Said: Wow, Cheryl Hines is in this?
She Said: Larry David must’ve cut her pay.
Spoiler alert: This scene is as close as you’ll get to T&A in this film! On the flip side, maybe Lindsay should try wearing one of the bumps to court…
How does Thea know pregnancy will save her job? She’s armed with the knowledge that it’s discriminatory to fire someone for being knocked up – a fact she learned via Law & Order, naturally. Ah, television – the great educator. She’s allowed to keep her secretarial post, for now – and promptly celebrates by having a drink and a smoke with her coworker, Lisa DePardo (Cheryl Hines).
He Said: I wish Cheryl Hines was the lead; she’s way funnier.
She Said: Celebrating with a smoke and a drink – art imitates life! And the monotone line delivery – ouch. I thought alleged crack use made you hyper?
He Said: Does she have extra freckles and pockmarks? This film is a wonderful parallel – a woman who’s faking pregnancy and a woman who’s faking that she can act.
If only they’d bother to read the script with as much intensity!
And so begins the big pregnancy fake-out! Aided by Lisa, Thea steals a rubber “baby bump” from a maternity store in an effort to fool her coworkers about the true state of her maternity. Her nasty boss conveniently leaves for several weeks, putting his brother Nick Steinwald (Luke Kirby) in charge. Will he and Thea make a love connection?!
She Said: Hey, she’s stealing something from a store!
He Said: She’s apparently (allegedly) good at that! I Need A Drink – that should be the name of this film.
She Said: This is a long way from Mean Girls!
He Said: Everyone around her is working overtime at actually being an actor.
Things turn wacky – and awkward – when Thea begins to believe her web of lies and act as if she’s really pregnant.
He Said: This movie is nine months long. It started off a lot funnier, but it’s getting really boring. It went downhill fast and hasn’t stopped.
She Said: It’s the slalom hill of films.
Can I put booze in these things?
Thea breaks up with her boyfriend Miles (Aaron Yoo) as the crush on her de facto boss Nick intensifies. Thea and Nick even take a birthing class together! Work continues to go swimmingly for Thea since her sudden promotion (courtesy of Nick) – though her personal life is on shaky ground as her sister becomes disgusted with her phony life.
She Said: I guess that rubber bump must feel pretty convincing.
He Said: There’s only one place to go with that comment…
She Said: Tena Fey (scriptwriter) and Mark Waters (director) of Mean Girls obviously helped Lohan shine in that film. This is like getting blood from a stone.
He Said: Do you think the “name” actors in this movie wish they’d quit? Can you get out of roles like this? Where are their lawyers?
She Said: They absolutely wish they’d been able to quit.
Things come to a head as it’s revealed in a very public way that Thea has been faking her pregnancy for months. Mild drama ensues before neatly wrapping up in a happy (albeit painfully predictable) ending.
He Said: I think everyone who signed on knew it was over within the first days of filming. They got the title right – it was laborious and painful. I wonder if anyone lost his or her career after this? Did the director get thrown in a ditch at the wrap party?
She Said: I bet the “stars” signed on after seeing the previous name actor inked a contract and so on. Ultimately everyone (except Lohan, who’s at fault for failing to deliver the lead role) ended up getting screwed.
A few of the doomed costars from Labor Pains assemble. I hope craft services rocked – they deserve it!
Extras (Bonus Beers Seven to Twelve)
The mystery of this sad failure that couldn’t bridge the comedy gap was solved when we watched “The Making Of” featurette (I guess we needed more beer). Here’s a direct quote from Lindsay Lohan: “I didn’t want to prepare. The character got caught by surprise and I wanted to as well!” And, in candid interviews, the other stars even “joke” about whether they could get out of this film. Wow.
He Said: The point is to act surprised, not actually be surprised.
She Said: Jesus Christ.
Six beers won’t cut it. Pregnant ladies aren’t the only ones with cravings – we were so desperate for a dose of humor we had to watch Monster In-Law as a comedy chaser!
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: Every time Lohan delivers a monotone line. Have paramedics on speed dial – you could get alcohol poisoning from this one!
Take a drink: Every time someone out-acts Lindsay. See above for precautions.
Take a drink: Every time Thea and Lisa steal another baby bump from the maternity store.
Take a shot: If you even spend one second thinking about renting this film.