RABBIT TEST (1978)
Article 4651 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Joan Rivers
Featuring Billy Crystal, Alex Rocco, Joan Prather
What it is: Pregnant man comedy
After a one night stand, a man discovers he is pregnant. He tries to cope with his condition but becomes an international celebrity.
Ideally, I feel that I should give every movie I see a fair shake, but sometimes you can’t help but feel trepidation about certain movies. This one had three strikes against it going in. First, I’ve never been a fan of Joan Rivers, and I can’t think of a single joke she ever made that even made me smile, much less laugh, though I am willing to believe this may simply be due to the fact that I’m not part of the audience she was trying to reach. Secondly, if I were to make a list of the fantastically-themed subjects that would least draw me into seeing a movie, I’m pretty sure that the concept of the pregnant man would make that list, somewhere just above the antics of the Smurfs and just below the adventures of Care Bears. Thirdly, I noticed the rating on IMDB for the movie was 2.9, which is shockingly low. As a result, I didn’t go into this movie with a positive frame of mind. Having seen it, I’m afraid I have to say that it is as bad as I feared it would be. What I didn’t anticipate was just how weirdly bad it would turn out to be; not only do the vast majority of the jokes miss the mark, but with quite a few of them, I had no idea what or where the mark was. I think the movie’s main problem was Joan River’s direction; it’s her sole directorial effort, and she just doesn’t seem to have a knack for it. I suspect a more skilled, experienced comedy director would have made a number of the gags work. The movie is so weird at times that it exudes a certain fascination, but that wears off rather quickly, and after awhile, the most fun is had by spotting the guest stars; there’s Paul Lynde, George Gobel, Roddy McDowell, Billy Barty, Jimmie Walker, Alice Ghostley, Rosey Grier and a few others as well. The movie tries to be energetic, but feels distant and detached; it’s alternately crude, politically incorrect and impenetrable. It’s just not funny.