In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit up front that this piece has very, very little to do with the Muppets. Just for the sake of it, I’m going to drag the Muppets in at the end, but that’s basically just for show. Purists who demand 100% Muppet content on this site will have to take a break for the day.
The deal is that last night I went to see the Spider-Man movie. There were two main reasons for this. The number one reason was to see James Franco’s cheeks, which are worth almost any amount of time and money to see. The other reason was that my partner Ed is a recovering Star Trek fan, and every once in a while, he’s seized with the impulse to see a goofy sci-fi blockbuster. If I say no, then he just pouts and watches Tech TV, so it’s usually best if I give in.
The Spider-Man movie is your typical modern entertainment delivery system, with lots of explosions, neat camera effects, and a main cast of six good-looking actors who don’t have a single recognizable human quality between ’em. But that’s not what I want to talk about here.
What I want to talk about is my single favorite character in this or possibly any movie, the Save My Baby Lady. Spider-Man is on the run from the police, or newspaper reporters, or something like that, and he comes across a building that’s going up in flames. And from off the street, this woman runs up to a police officer and screams, apropos of nothing, “My BABY’s in there! Save my baby! Oh, please, won’t somebody save my baby!” Then Spider-Man swoops in and saves the baby, and she says, hey, thanks, and that’s pretty much the end of things, save-my-baby-wise.
Now, my question for the Save My Baby Lady is this: If your baby is so gosh-darn important that everybody has to stop what they’re doing in order to save it, then how come you’re out on the street while your baby is inside burning to death? We don’t even see her running out of the door; the way the scene is shot, it looks like she’s already outside. Actually, it looks like she was out dropping off her dry-cleaning, and she just happened to come home in time to notice that her apartment building was on fire. Now, I don’t have any kids myself, but isn’t it irresponsible to go out and do your errands, leaving your infant alone in a building that you know is flammable?
Or was she actually home when the fire started, and she got all the way downstairs before she realized that she forgot to take the baby with her? Either way, it seems like her bad, and I think it’s kind of presumptuous and self-centered to suddenly rush up to people and demand that they save your baby just because you left it behind. Like all of a sudden it’s everybody else’s problem. It just doesn’t seem fair.
Now, if I were Spider-Man — and I’m glad I’m not, by the way, cause it seems like he has a pretty stressful life — but if I were Spider-Man, I’d probably take this opportunity to teach the Save My Baby Lady a lesson. If you go ahead and save her baby now, it’ll only encourage her. She’ll learn that it’s okay to leave her baby in dangerous situations and then expect other people to come in and clean up after her. It’s enabling her, basically. I think she’d be a lot better off in the long run if Spider-Man took a moment to explain to her that if she really wanted to save her baby, then she would have saved it herself. Then maybe next time she’ll be a little more detail-oriented, and she won’t keep getting herself into these kinds of scrapes.
Anyway, Spider-Man saves the Save My Baby Lady’s baby, so there’s a teachable moment pretty much down the tubes. By the way, it looks like the movie’s going to make about 120 million dollars in its opening weekend, which is about 12 times more money than Muppets From Space made in its entire theatrical run. So maybe the Muppets ought to take a page out of Spider-Man’s book. The next time Kermit and Miss Piggy are about to sing a romantic duet, a hysterical woman could run in and shout, “Save my baby! Oh, please, please, won’t somebody save my baby?”
I mean. It can’t hurt.