Babies Aren’t For Everyone in The Stroller Strategy


Who doesn’t love babies? Lots of people, as it happens. Not all of us are cut out for the awesome responsibility and social demise that comes with parenthood. Paris artist Thomas (Raphaël Personnaz) includes himself in this category, and as The Stroller Strategy opens, this lack of commitment costs him a blossoming relationship with pediatric nurse Marie (Charlotte Le Bon). Pediatric nurse? He really should have seen that coming. A year passes, and a possible solution falls into Thomas’s lap when he inadvertently rescues his ailing neighbor’s four-month-old boy and hits upon the idea of winning Marie back with his new “son.” Originally titled La Stratégie de la Poussette, the film boasts some obvious international touches, such as a hospital allowing a virtual stranger to walk out of the hospital with a child that isn’t his (in the hands of another director, Gaspar Noé perhaps, this would’ve been a horror movie). There’s also a refreshing European irreverence when it comes to the (comic!) abuse of various children. But writer-director Clément Michel can’t escape the usual infant-related movie pitfalls (mon Dieu, are they hard to get to sleep! Zut alors, but there are a lot of diaper brands!) or avoid the expected rom-com bullet points: overly convoluted deception? Check. Climactic confessional? Check. Personnaz has a nice Gallic Adam Scott thing going, and Thomas’s degenerate best friend (check) gets some amusing scenes, but none of lifts The Stroller Strategy out of the well-worn ruts of its genre.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 14, 2013

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