Relationships / Relations


One difference I noticed between the two films is the way in which the men talk about the women in the opening party scene. To me, it seems that the French are more respectful of women, despite the way Jaques leaves the note with the "X" to tell his friends he had a good night.

In the American film, Peter says he is not exclusive with his girlfriend, and Jack speaks of getting and wanting many different women as well, in a disparaging way.

Do you think its true that Americans are seen as generally less polite and more degrading to women?

I actually did not find that to be true, I think that both the men in the French movie and the men in the American movie were similarly degrading to women. In "Three men and a cradle", the French movie, while they are washing dishing, all they are talking about is "scoring" with women and about their bodies, talking about them as "things to be used" for their own pleasure. And in the American movie, they seem to be similarly disrespectful, although Michael seemed more respectful of the girl as a person in the American film.

A obvious example of the differences between the French and American movie is the example of Michael with the woman he was going to sleep with. The woman starting getting very upset because she just broke up with someone that she missed, and Michael tried to comfort her and help her with her personal problems. Instead of trying to "Score" with her, he talked to her and tried to help.

We talked about how people talk about emotions in France and in the U.S., in class. It seems that when describing things, Americans use their emotions a lot more than the French. "I feel", "It makes me upset that" "It makes me angry", etc. We all saw this in many of the earlier forums as well. Many times these things turn into a more personal thing; we talk about our emotions and how we feel and relate to each other. Obviously we have "one night stands" in the U.S., but I was wondering:

Our these relations between men and women often seen as less personal in France? Or it is just the same as "one night stands" in the U.S.?

Je trouve qu'il y a beaucoup de différence au niveau de Michel/Michael : le Michel français à l'air beaucoup plus coureur de jupon que le Michael américain, Michel n'arrête pas de parler du fait qu'il n'a pas coucher avec une femme depuis 6 mois et qu'il n'attend plus que ca, qu'il en a marre de rester cloitrer à l'appartement et qu'il a envie de sortir et draguer, tandis que Michael a l'air plus respectueux des femmes, il n'approuve pas le comportement des deux autres et n'a pas l'air aussi "polygame" que Peter...

(enfin si je me souviens du film.... j'ai un leger, tout petit doute la dessus...!)

Je trouve que l'on peut peut être faire un parallèle avec la réputation des français d'être assez... "chaud lapin"...! Enfin du moins je crois que ce stéréotype existe... Est-ce-qu'aux Etats Unis on voit les français comme assez "libertins" au niveau des relations amoureuse et tout ce qui s'en suit...?


I think, Clemence, that you're right in thinking that America views France as much more...loose in terms of romance. It has been my experience that many Americans view Europe in general as a place of lower morals when it comes to love and relationships. For instance, I heard many people describe a "European marriage" as one where the spouses agree to be mutually unfaithful, but remain married. Personnally, I am a little tired of America's puritanical hypocrisy. We have such a high divorce rate, and still got shocked and offended over things that occur in our own homes. Do the French pick up on this American way of thinking?

hi zach

franchement je trouves que c'est un peu une façade que donne le film français parce qu'ici les hommes ne sont pas plus respectueux envers les femmes que les amé trouves!!!

While the French police officer follows no specific procedure, Michelle and Pierre are obedient, and never question his authority. However, the American police officer has to give reasons for everything, to assure that the men do not think their rights have been violated.

For example, his reason for asking for i.d. at first is that they are double parked. Then, when Peter has no i.d., the officer attempts to search him, and rather than comply, he refuses on the grounds of his having a baby. Next, when the officer gets to the appartment, he is careful to wait outside, as he has no warrent. Also, the officer is careful to ask Peter to remove the i.d. from the case himself, as legally he cannot.

As was seen in the reactions to "un agent demande vos papiers," Americans seem much more resistant and scared of police.

Do you think this is a realistic portrayal of a police officer in France? Would the police in France be unconcerned with the technicalities of the law, and more concerned doing whatever is nescessary?

Also, it seems as if the French police officer cares about finding the truth, while the American officer say he is simply doing his job. Do you think this is an accurate assertion?

Oui c'est vrai que la scene avec le policier semble tres probable en france , c'est un peu comme ca que ca se passe meme si , dans ce cas présent , le policier est completement parano ^^" ca lui monte trés vite à la tete , le fait de monter jusqu'a l'apartement...appeler un agent spécialisé etc... je doute qu'en vrai un policier fasse tout cela , cependant l'approche serais relativement la meme : une chose semble mal se passer et le policier vient s'assurer que tout va bien...mais on ne peut pas dire non plus que ce soit toujours comme ca ;) personnelement je trouve que l'exageration a permis de suivre le scénario de la version américaine voila tout ^^" ...mais il est vrai que le policier en france semble devoir beaucoup moin se justifier que par chez vous ( on l'a bien vu dans le sujet "un agent vous demande vos papiers" ) j'espere que ca vous a éclairé un peu =)


In the scene where Jack returns home, there are a few distinct differences. In the French version, when Jaques returns, Michelle and Pierre are silent at first, but then begin to fiercely yell at him. In the American version, Jack returns in the middle of the night. However, rather than yell at him, they explain the situation calmly, and simply give him the baby to take care of as punishment.

There is a stereotype that I have heard about the French being very emotional. Do you think the emotional reaction, (really letting Jaques know how they felt, yelling and getting upset) was more typically French? Do you think that it seemed strange that Michael and Peter did not show as much anger when Jack arrived home?

In terms of the relationships with friends, it seemed that throughout the American movie, there was less tension with their friends than in the French version. For example, in the French one, the friends at the dinner party all leave because they are not interested in dealing with a crying baby. There is no scene like this in the American one, but it seems that there's more of an interest in the baby by others. For example, Peter's co-workers all coo and play with the baby in one brief scene. I thought it was interesting that friends (and the tension with the baby) were a more prominent part of the French version than the American one.

One big difference I found was the way the three men showed their emotions throughout the film.

In the French version, the men were more inhibited, and were in a sense embarrased of showing their "tenderness" towards the baby in front of each other. They almost always showed their affection in secret.

In the American version, these inhibitions were practically out of the picture once the baby had been with the men for a couple of days. In particular, the scenes with the guys in the park playing frisbee, or at the pool, reinforce this main difference between the versions.

-Mauricio C.

While the men in the french film were more embarrassed by their tenderness...they were more physically affectionte* (see additional post in the forum)

Je suis d'accord avec le fait que les hommes dans la version francaise ont beaucoup plus de mal a faire entrer le bébé dans leur vie et à vivre avec ( il est meme source de problemes entre les 3 hommes ) alors que dans la version americaine , ce bébé renforce les liens entre les 3 hommes et il y a une vraie camaraderie entre eux , j'adore comme le bébé entre dans leur vies active ! Il fait vraiment parti du trio desormais et on comprend donc mieux pourquoi ils sont si tristes lorsque sylvia vient pour reprendre ce bébé .


Je trouve ça justement un peu bizarre, étant donné que se sont 3 hommes n'ayant pas envie de s'engager (pas de femmes à l'appartement plus d'une nuit) Je trouve que la version française est plus logique. Même si un bébé c'est très "mignon", ce n'est surement pas facile à vivre surtout au début... Alors j'imagine 3 hommes pas du tout préparés à ce qui leur tombe dessus.. l'enfer que ça doit etre au début! Je trouverais plus normal qu'ils se "prennent la tête"!

je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi.Dans la version américaine, les 3 hommes sont très démonstratifs, ils n'ont pas peur de montrer, d'évoquer leurs sentiments envers le bébé.Comme je l'ai déjà dit , je trouve qu'ils s'attachent très vite au bébé.C'est mignon!Pour ce qui est de la version française, les 3 hommes sont plus pudiques(c'est peut être une caractéristique française^^), ils semblent plus "froids" avec le bébé mais cela n'est qu'une façade car ils sont aussi très attachés au bébé.

La mère dans la version française est moins maternelle, moins protectrice également

Je pense que le but du film est de montrer aussi comment c'est difficile de s'occuper comme ca d'un bébé : les américains maitrisent beaucoup trop la situation pour montrer cet aspect la de l'histoire.

Et le fait qu'ils ne veuillent pas montrer leur attachement au bébé entre eux fait aussi parti de l'histoire, cela montre comment un bébé peut bouleverser la vie de 3 hommes plutôt macho et qui ne pense qu'aux femmes comme des objets utile seulement pour le sexe... La version américaine reflète moins cela, je trouve...


In the french version of the film, it took longer for the men to admit, even to themselves, that they had affection for the baby. Even then, they only showed affection for the baby in private. It was also easier for the men in the American version to care for the baby. They seemed to figure it out more quickly than the men in the French version

In terms of the relationship between the men themselves, the men in the French film never really admitted to each other that they cared about the baby until the final scenes. However, in the American version, it was apparent between Michael and Peter, almost immediately, that they cared for Mary. This is shown in the scenes at the park, the pool, and when Peter takes her to work with him.

When Sylivia comes to take Mary away, Peter and Michael are openly upset, and even talk about their emotions. In the French film, though, they pretend to be relieved, even with each other.

To sum up, the French version is a little more reserved and private in terms of emotions and showing them, whereas the American version is more open. In a way, this is odd, because you think of American culture as assigning the more macho role to men, so you would think that they would be less likely to admit affection for a baby, much less show it. However, it is the French film that shows this more. I don't think it reflects a more macho society for the French, though. I think it has more to do with the differences in intimacy and emotions that we have been talking about in the forums on the questionnaires. It is a common thread that French culture is more reserved, and people do not show emotion openly in public. Therefore, I think this difference is just a difference in cultures, and perhaps in France, the men in the French version are just as emotional and affectionate as the American men are in the United States. I hope this makes sense!

Ta vision des choses sur les sentiments des hommes dans le film est tout à fait juste. Elle se confirme egalement dans la vie.

En effet je pense que les hommes (français) en general sont assez pudique comparé aux americains. Je ne me base que sur du fictif (ce que je vois dans vos film et l'image que vous renvoyez) mais je pense quand même, d'aprés ce que je vois, ce que je vis, que les français restent trés résérvés sur leurs sentiments.

Je vais prendre un exemple tout simple mais dans ma famille, il est rare de voir les hommes etaler les sentiments, pleurer devant tout le monde... Il y a une certaine pudeur et en quelque sorte une certaine fierté a ne pas montrer ses "faiblesses" que je ne retrouve pas chez les américains.

Peut être que je me trompe sur toute la ligne mais c'est l'image que j'ai entre ces deux cultures, l'une etant plus réservée sur ce point.

J'allais oublier, c'est vrai que dans la version americaine, les sentiments des hommes sont beaucoup plus visibles que dans la version française. A la fin ils arrivent a parler de leur sentiments envers Mary, du vide qu'elle laisse derriere elle...

Dans la version française comme tu le dis, ils pretendent être libérés, libre de ressortir avec les femmes, de passer des nuits entieres...

Je trouve la fin americaines trés touchante, plus encore que la fin française.


I thought the relationships of the men with the police were very interesting. For the most part, I felt that they reflected differences between American and French society toward law enforcement, and were pretty good. However, I thought the part in the American version of the main seargent wanting to hold the baby all the time was just weird. It was kind of a little aspect that didn't need to be in the film. He tries to hold it first when he comes up to the house with Peter, which can kind of be explained, but later, when they capture the drug dealers and he asks to hold the baby again, I didn't understand that. I kind of thought it was weird, and didn't serve a purpose. Does anyone have any ideas of what the message was there?

C'est vrai qu'à premiere vue, il est etrange qu'il veuille porter le bébé même après l'affaire résolue. Mais je pense que ça peut apporter un effet un peu comique, en effet, on peut croire que l'inspecteur veut porter le bébé la premiere fois car il a des doutes, cependant, on se rend compte à la fin qu'il avait peut être juste envie de le tenir dans ses bras, je pense que ça renforce la naiveté de la police.

I thought that the different ways in which Jack's mother interacted with him in the two movies was quite interesting. In the French version, Jack's mother couldn't take care of Marie because she was going on a cruise to the Caribbean and then traveling to Bordeaux. In the American version Jack's mother simply did not want to take care of Mary, and said that it was time that Jack "learn some responsibility."

This idea of responsibility didn't come up at all in the French version. I guess my question is this: is this idea of " learning responsibility" as big of a staple in one's upbringing in France as it is in the USA?


En france nous avons beaucoup cette idée de responsabilité aussi mais c'est vrai que la grand mere est en quelque sorte la roue de secours ^^" j'imagine que c'est pareil partout parce qu'on se dit que le bébé leur fera plaisir etc...cependant dans le film francais , la facon avec laquelle la mere regarde son amie mais aussi avec laquelle elle annonce son depart en voyage montre bien que ce n'est pas la reelle raison de la non garde du bébé, je pense qu'elle a legerement menti afin de pousser son fils a prendre ses responsabilité comme dans le film américain meme si c'est beaucoup moin explicite c'est comme ca que je l'ai ressenti mais bon j'aimerais avoir l'avis d'autres francais pour voir ^^"


alors tu voulais 1 avis français... le mien est le même que le tien!!lol. en effet je pense que chez nous la notion de responsabilité est importante... il faut assumer ses choix et ses actes... et je pense que la mère de Jack/Jacques a tout à fait raison d'agir ainsi.. car même si on le voit, elle est ravie de découvrir qu'elle a 1 petite fille, on ressent bien que Jack/Jacques n'est venu voir sa mère que dans l'intérêt de se "débarasser" de Marie/Mary... donc qu'elle parte en voyage ou qu'elle lui dise clairement qu'il doit prendre ses responsabilités c'est 1 bonne chose!!


I found that the men in the french film were far more physically affectionate with the baby, even if it were in private. They kissed her a lot more (although they were embarrassed when caught). In the american movie, they're physically reserved but not as embarrassed by the interactions they have with her.

ALSO: In the french film, the men left the baby alone in the apartment! I don't think an american audience would've tolerated this action as socially acceptable and therefore the three men had to leave the baby with the concierge in the American film.

Yeah, I think it was in the American version as well where Michael noted while changing the baby, "should we even be doing this?" Thinking it was illegal or something for a man to change a baby girl's diaper.

J'ai trouvé cette scene trés amusante!!!


I thought Sylvia was portrayed much more harshly in the French film than in the American one. She took horrible care of the baby and hid her from her employer, whereas in the American version, she admitted her inability to care for Mary almost immediately. Why do you think accounts for the difference?

I think Americans hate to mess with the image of the perfect mother who's almost saintly and it's usually the father figure with the problems. Do you think the French have a higher tolerance for what is, perhaps, a more realistic view of motherhood?

Je pense que le stereotype selon laquelle les femmes sont plus aptes à s'occuper d'enfants que les hommes est également present ici. Mais la difference est dans le fait, je pense, qu'en france, on n'ose davantage montrer la realité au cinema, et les mauvaises méres sont malheureusement une réalité.

In the french film, the men seem to be wary of eachother seeing their emotions expressed. With the exception of Jack (who represses his feelings for the baby when she leaves), Peter and Michael seem to be more open with showing eachother how they feel. Both films depicted Pierre et Michel as angry at Jacques. The American men seemed almost "passive agressive" when Jack came back because they made him fend for himself without help for an hour or so.

C'est peut etre du au fait que Michel et Pierre sont les deux premiers à s'etre occupé du bébé , les deux premiers à s'etre retourné le cerveau pour comprendre cette petite chose qui ne fait que pleurer ( ='( je les comprend tellement ='( ) et lors du retour de Jacques , ils ont deja une certaine maitrise de la chose et on remarque bien l'idée de lui rendre l'appareil de la part de Michel et Pierre , il y a donc un nouveau lien qui s'est formé entre Michel et Pierre mais cela à l'insus de leur plein grés il est donc normal qu'ils aient cette attitude revancharde envers Jacques. Vous trouvez la revanche de la version américaine plus dure '


Je ne trouve pas beaucoup de différence entre les deux revanches : ils le laissent s'occuper de Marie/Mary tout seul, sans leur aide dans les deux versions...

Et on voit aussi le lien qui s'est crée entre Pierre et Michel dans la version française.

La seule différence est le fait que les français vont aller crier sur Jacques alors que les américains arrivent à rester (trop) calme...