Bruce Willis At The Movies: LOOK WHO'S TALKING - Voicing The Unspoken - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Bruce Willis At The Movies: LOOK WHO'S TALKING - Voicing The Unspoken

In the sprawling tapestry of Bruce Willis' cinematic endeavors, there are those films that sit within our conscious appreciation, and those that dwell somewhere deeper, in the recesses of our memory, just waiting to be illuminated. "Look Who's Talking" is precisely one of those films that kindles a particular kind of nostalgia.

Imagine, if you will, a comedy that peers into the mind of an infant, giving voice to the myriad of thoughts that might whirl inside that cherubic head. Now imagine that voice to be none other than Bruce Willis. Released on October 13, 1989, "Look Who's Talking" charts the life of Mollie Jensen, played by the effervescent Kirstie Alley, an accountant left to birth and raise her child alone after being betrayed by her married boyfriend. Enter James Ubriacco (John Travolta), a cab driver with a heart of gold, who finds himself drawn into Mollie and baby Mikey's world. It's Mikey, with the internal commentary voiced by Willis, who truly steals the show.

Amy Heckerling, the film's director, already boasted "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" on her directorial resume. It's not difficult to see why she took on "Look Who's Talking". The movie, in many ways, challenges traditional comedic norms. By offering a window into the baby's perspective, it invites audiences to remember their own, simpler times, those days of unadulterated curiosity and wonder.

While the concept of giving voice to a baby was novel, Bruce Willis' casting was a masterstroke. Known then for his macho roles and bristling charisma, Willis brought a blend of wit, humor, and innocence to Mikey. His wisecracks, combined with the baby's antics, made for comedic gold. In fact, it's often been pondered, could any other voice have truly done justice to Mikey the way Willis did? His unique ability to be both world-weary and childlike at once infused the character with a certain magic.

Production-wise, the film was rife with challenges. How does one direct a baby? Much of Mikey's scenes were crafted around the infant's natural actions and reactions. The synchronicity between the baby's actions and Willis' voiceover was crucial, and the behind-the-scenes team labored intensively to ensure this was achieved seamlessly.

As with all films, music plays a pivotal role in "Look Who's Talking". From the Beach Boys' "I Get Around" to "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves, the soundtrack is as bubbly and vivacious as Mikey himself.

Grossing over $140 million in the U.S. and a whopping $297 million globally, "Look Who's Talking" proved that the world was ready for a different kind of Willis. Critics, too, found themselves amused, albeit somewhat perplexed by this fresh venture. A review from Variety mused, "Underneath the consummate slickness there's nothing very much, but the film's genial inoffensiveness should pull in quite a few bucks." Conversely, The Washington Post praised the film's audacity: "It's a big, goofy, amiably aimless comedy, and it's a hoot."

Within its genre, the film finds parallels with flicks like "Three Men and a Baby", which also uses the premise of adults fumbling around the mysteries of infancy. However, the unique voiceover perspective sets "Look Who's Talking" apart.

The movie birthed sequels. "Look Who's Talking Too" and "Look Who's Talking Now", though not as successful as their predecessor, carried forward the legacy, with Willis returning to lend his voice.

Diving into Willis' expansive filmography, "Look Who's Talking" is an exemplar of the versatility he brings to the table. Whether it's the hardened cop John McClane or the introspective war veteran in "In Country", Willis proves time and again that he's more than just an action hero. With Mikey, he ventured into comedic waters, blending warmth with wit. It's a testament to his prowess, showing that he can breathe life into even the most unconventional of roles.

In summation, "Look Who's Talking" is not just a comedic jaunt into infancy. It's an exploration of love, relationships, and the age-old conundrum of what goes on in a baby's mind. While the film may now rest in the more dormant corners of our memory, it serves as a reminder of Bruce Willis' boundless range and his ability to transcend genres. In the realm of comedies, this one, with its innocence and humor, surely remains a classic to be revisited.

View all our Bruce Willis filmography retrospectives here.

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