THIS REVIEW contains a quick, viewer-response test for the new movie "Three Men and a Little Lady."
But first, an introduction. "Lady" is Touchstone Pictures' sequel to "Three Men and a Baby." You remember "Baby." There was Mary, the infant deserted at the doorstep. There was Sylvia, the unmarried mother. There were user-friendly Dad-partners Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. After madcap shenanigans (Diaper changing! Getting Baby to sleep! Feeding Baby! A narcotic smuggling ring!), those Guys, the Baby and the Mom (Nancy Travis) decided to live supportively ever after, in some upwardly mobile version of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
Now, let's go to that viewer response test. It's "five years later." The Guys, the Mom, the Babe, they're all still around. But Mary (Robin Weisman) is now a Little Lady. And it's time for Mary to go to sleep.
"Would you like me to sing you a lullaby?" asks Mom.
"No," says the Lady. "I want a rap song."
Instantly (see picture above), Selleck (the architect), Danson (the actor and blood father) and Guttenberg (the cartoonist) launch into a seamlessly rehearsed rap song, with appropriate boom-box-sputtery noises, choreographed steps, street-bad poses, and tag-team, rap-around lyrics. As in "Just close them eyes and cop some z's."
Please circle the sentence that most closely reflects your feelings:
1. To me, this scene sounds precious, cute, madcap, zany, lovable, heart-warming, poignant and funny.
2. I find this scene nauseating, despicable, moronic, simpering, formulaic, tacky and culturally dangerous.
Based on your existing attitudes to Selleck, Danson and Guttenberg, please circle the item of your choice:
1. Are these guys cute or what? I wish I had a Tom-Ted-Steve T-shirt.
2. Does Saddam Hussein have room for three more guests?
That's it! For those who circled the first answer to each question, congratulations! Not only do you want to see this movie anyway, you'll enjoy yourselves! This one has laughter and tears. The story is about the potential love between Selleck and Travis, who wants just one Dad for her Baby. But Selleck finds it hard to open up. (Those guys!) It looks like stage actress Travis is going to marry her director, Edward (Christopher Cazenove), who wants to send Mary to boarding school. That means Selleck and Travis won't get together and the three Popsters won't get to see their Baby anymore.
Want to know how it turns out? Nuh-uh! That would stop you from seeing the whole second half of the movie in Beautiful England, a nail-biting bid to get to the church on time, Danson dressed like Carmen Miranda and -- above all -- those Guys doing what they do best.
THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY (PG) -- Area theaters.