Cast: Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard
J.C. Wiatt is a single career woman whose life is upended when she inherits her cousin's one-year-old. The baby's arrival derails the high-powered exec's tightly coiled existence, leaving her awash in bottles and diapers. Almost overnight, she loses her boyfriend and her job, and decides to plunk it all down for a farmhouse in Vermont. Keaton's transformation from management consultant to mommy-on-the-edge is hilarious.
What Parents Like: The sweet romance between Keaton and Shepard will have moms running to the local vet. When Shepard tells her, "You know, you kind of remind me of a bull terrier," Keaton replies, "Yeah, I bet you say that to all the girls."
Parenting Lesson: Quit your day job. When life throws you apples, make applesauce -- for a lot of money.
Cast: Molly Ringwald, Randall Batinkoff
Ringwald is radiant as the high school senior who accidentally gets pregnant by her steady boyfriend. When the two decide that abortion and adoption are not alternatives, they rough it out on their own to pay the bills and raise the baby themselves.
What Parents Like: The film does have a happy ending, but it doesn't take the easy way out. Among the sacrifices the young couple must make: college and French roast coffee with cinnamon.
Parenting 101: It's hard being a pregnant teenager. As Darcy puts it, "I tried on my dress for the prom. I look like a Thanksgiving Day float. Also I'm itching everywhere, my ankles are fat, there's something hanging out of my butt, the article's not going good, and now I need a haircut."
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Emma Thompson
The Terminator gets maternal: When a scientist loses funding for his research project, he decides to test a new fertility drug -- on himself. Arnold gets in touch with his softer side, becoming weepy, developing morning sickness, and experiencing cramps.
What Parents Like: Arnold is pretty in pink as the world's first pregnant man, and he's a catch for fellow doctor, Thompson.
Parenting 101: Forget natural childbirth. This dad takes a needle in the stomach and has a c-section.
Cast: Hugh Laurie, Joely Richardson, Rowan Atkinson
Conceiving a child can be the most unromantic thing, especially when the lovemaking involves fertility rituals, sperm counts, and ovulation charts. This smart and funny British romantic comedy follows one couple's efforts to become parents.
What Parents Like: Cool cameos: Rowan Atkinson fusses as an overly eager gynecologist, Emma Thompson flies in for a brief cameo as a New Age witch and muse, and Joanna Lumley appears as a lesbian boss lady.
Parenting 101: Sometimes the most natural desire in the world -- to have a child -- can feel very unnatural.
Cast: Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore, Robin Williams
Grant stammers, winces, and gets completely flummoxed when his girlfriend of five years announces she's pregnant, and has decided to have the baby. Moore is saintly as the patient mom-to-be, while Grant literally tugs at his hair and beats up a Barney-like dinosaur.
What Parents Like: Robin Williams plays a Russian doctor of "obstruction" whose nervous bedside manner delivers more laughs than babies: "You don't want natural childbirth? You want Anastasia?"
Parenting 101: Start pushing now. Ready or not, here it comes.
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Beverly D'Angelo, Lauren Hutton
Burt Reynolds plays a successful 44-year-old bachelor looking for a woman to bear his heir, as proof that "Buddy Evans was here." He finds the perfect egg donor and incubator in aspiring music student and waitress, Maggie.
What Parents Like: It's fun to see a womanizer meet and fall for a real woman.
Parenting 101: The Son Also Rises: Buddy learns that having a baby is more than just a biological imperative.
Cast: Holly Hunter, Nicolas Cage, John Goodman
Some couples are so desperate to have a child, they'll steal one. Hunter is a police photographer who yearns for a child. She orders her ex-con husband to kidnap one of the Arizona quintuplets, figuring the infant won't be missed. "Sometimes it's a hard world for small things," confides Cage of the baby everyone wants to keep.
What Parents Like: Cage explains their childless predicament in colorful, humorous terms: "Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase."
Parenting 101: You never forget the children you have and the children you imagine.
She's Having a Baby
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern
She might be having the baby, but he's the one having the second thoughts. Bacon plays a reluctant groom and father-to-be who settles down with a wife and "a mortgage and three bedrooms." Temptations surround the couple as they struggle with familial expectations, and become a family in their own right.
What Parents Like: You know those weird pregnancy dreams you keep having? Well, get ready for a few more. McGovern and Bacon conceive their child to the strains of "Workin' on the Chain Gang," and there is a choreographed fantasy sequence featuring suburban dads and lawnmowers.
Parenting 101: Bacon's boyish charmer gives hope for even the shallowest guys and reminds us that during birth, great husbands and fathers are born as well.
Cast: Ally Sheedy, Rosanna Arquette
This quirky independent film explores creativity and self-realization in the intersecting lives of Californian artists, idols, and dreamers. Sheedy is brilliant as a neurotic production designer having trouble giving birth. Arquette is poignantly affecting as a formerly hot actress who finds new purpose as a stepmom when her husband discovers a former groupie on his doorstep -- along with the son he fathered on tour.
What Parents Like: '80s music fans will happily recognize Duran Duran's John Taylor, Power Station's Michael Des Barres, and Spandau Ballet's Martin Kemp in the roles of aging, legendary glam-rockers looking to make a comeback.
Parenting 101: Pregnancy can be the most creative power of all. Witness the glowing Lucinda Jenney, whose earth mother subtly demonstrates that expectant moms can be babes, especially in fake L.A.
Three Men and a Baby
Cast: Ted Danson, Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg
Three men in a penthouse apartment -- an actor, an architect, and a cartoonist -- must learn how to take care of one precious bundle of joy named Mary.
What Parents Like: This is the story of how three confirmed bachelors can become cooing, affectionate, diaper dads.
Parenting 101: Three heads are better than one, and when necessary, install a phone in the bathroom.