Three Men and a Little Lady

Last updated

Three Men and a Little Lady
Three Men and a Little Lady.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Emile Ardolino
Screenplay byCharlie Peters
Based on Trois hommes et un couffin
1985 film
by Coline Serreau
Josann McGibbon
Produced by Ted Field
Robert W. Cort
Cinematography Adam Greenberg
Edited byMichael A. Stevenson
Music by James Newton Howard
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • November 21, 1990 (1990-11-21)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$71.6 million

Three Men and a Little Lady is a 1990 American comedy film directed by Emile Ardolino. It is the sequel to the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby . Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson reprise the leading roles.



Peter, Michael, and Jack are living happily together with Mary, who is now five, and her mother, Sylvia. Peter and Michael continue as an architect and cartoonist, while Jack has little acting work. Sylvia has become a famous actress and is dating director Edward who wishes to marry her, but Sylvia is unsure how it will affect Mary.

Sylvia and Peter are clearly in love with each other, although he won't admit his true feelings. When visiting, Sylvia's mother warns her that he may never be able to express or admit his feelings. Sylvia, realizing she wants to get married and start a family, accepts Edward's proposal, announcing she and Mary will be moving to the UK after the wedding.

Inviting Edward to the apartment. Peter tells him he believes he won't be a good father for Mary. When he leaves, Sylvia confronts Peter, leading to a falling out when she calls him selfish and he reminds her she abandoned Mary once (the events of the first film).

Sylvia and Mary leave the next day for the UK. The men, depressed, try to cheer themselves up with one of their bachelor-style parties, but are still miserable without Mary and Sylvia. They go to the UK to visit Mary, who is unhappy without them. Peter and Michael arrive in time for the rehearsal dinner, happily reuniting with Mary and Sylvia. Miss Elspeth Lomax, headmistress of Pileforth Academy for Girls, is introduced to Peter by Edward (who tells her Peter is secretly interested). Peter and Sylvia apologize to each other for the fight.

With the wedding imminent, Peter is concerned as Mary says Edward dislikes her. Peter and Michael realize Edward plans to send Mary to Pileforth boarding school. Edward denies it and Sylvia refuses to believe Peter, as he has always disliked him. Jack arrives mid-argument and Sylvia and Edward leave. Peter admits he loves Sylvia but stayed silent because of him. Jack insists that Sylvia only loves Peter and must follow his heart.

The night before the wedding, Peter goes to Pileforth to get proof of Edward's scheme. Elspeth believes Peter is admitting his "feelings," throwing herself at him. Very surprised and deflecting her advances, he gets away. His car breaks down, finally he calls Jack and Michael, confirming he has the proof, but he will be late. Michael, Jack and Mary try to stall the wedding. Michael kidnaps the vicar and Jack disguises himself as an elderly replacement. Peter, with help from Elspeth, heads to the wedding. During the ride, she says Edward told her he was interested, but Peter says Edward lied, apologizing for him.

After numerous delays they arrive at the church. Peter shows Sylvia the truth, Elspeth confirming, that Edward has been lying and he, trying to defend himself, prompts Mary to accuse him of lying again. He shows his true colors, swearing at Mary and Peter, who then punches him out. Sylvia insists she's going home, but Peter stops her, declaring his love. Then, Edward comes to, stating it is too late as they are already married. Jack then reveals himself he has both finally proven his acting skills, and the marriage is not valid.

Peter and Sylvia wed with Mary as their bridesmaid, who afterwards throws the bouquet into the air and it is caught by a shocked Jack.



Filmed on location in New York and the United Kingdom, the scenes in the latter location were primarily shot in Banbury in north Oxfordshire. Particular use is made of Broughton Castle. The scenes where the car breaks down and Peter makes a call from a phone box are shot at Burton Dassett Country Park, in south Warwickshire. The school which Mary was to attend (Pileforth Academy) was shot at two locations. The external shot of the school is the Jesuit boarding school Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire. The internal scenes of the school were shot at the (former) Benedictine boarding school Douai School near Thatcham, West Berkshire.


Box office

In its opening weekend, the movie was screened at 1,281 theaters, earning $19.1 million and finishing in 2nd place behind Home Alone. [1] By the end of the second week, it had dropped to 3rd place with a total gross of $29.8 million [2] and by the end of the third week was in 5th place with a total gross of $35.9 million. [3] It eventually grossed $71.6 million.


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 35% based on 17 reviews. [4]

Critics Rita Kempley and Desson Howe of The Washington Post wrote positively of the film, citing the three main characters' comical rap, the race for Peter to stop the wedding, and the relationship between him and Miss Lomax as the film's most enjoyable scenes. However, Howe also criticized it, claiming Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg were overshadowed for the remainder of the film. [5] [6]


One of the most widely recognized tracks from the film is "Waiting for a Star to Fall" by Boy Meets Girl, which featured during the final wedding scene and end credits. The film's soundtrack album contains the three leads' singing "Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite" from Three Men and a Baby , [7] which had no soundtrack album of its own.


In June 2010, a third film tentatively titled Three Men and a Bride was announced to be developed by Disney. [8] [9]

The project was eventually abandoned in favor of a reboot. In December 2020, the as-of-yet untitled reboot was announced to be in development, with Zac Efron cast in a starring role. The film is intended to be a streaming exclusive film, for Disney+. [10] The film is scheduled for a 2022 release. [11]

Related Research Articles

J. M. Barrie British novelist and playwright (1860–1937)

Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born and educated in Scotland and then moved to London, where he wrote a number of successful novels and plays. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys, who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens, then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a 1904 West End "fairy play" about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland.

Ted Danson American actor (born 1947)

Edward Bridge Danson III is an American actor. He played the lead character Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, Jack Holden in the films Three Men and a Baby and Three Men and a Little Lady, and Dr. John Becker on the CBS sitcom Becker. He also starred in the CBS dramas CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Cyber as D.B. Russell. Additionally, he plays a recurring role as a fictionalized version of himself on Larry David's HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, starred alongside Glenn Close in legal drama Damages and was a regular on the HBO comedy series Bored to Death. In 2015, he starred as Hank Larsson in the second season of FX's black comedy-crime drama anthology Fargo. From 2016 to 2020, he played the afterlife architect Michael in the NBC sitcom The Good Place. He played Neil Bremer in NBC's Mr. Mayor from the start of the show in 2021 until it was cancelled in 2022.

Tom Selleck American actor (born 1945)

Thomas William Selleck is an American actor. His breakout role was playing private investigator Thomas Magnum in the television series Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988), for which he received five Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, winning in 1985. Since 2010, Selleck has co-starred as New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan in the series Blue Bloods. Beginning in 2005, he has portrayed troubled small-town police chief Jesse Stone in nine television films based on the Robert B. Parker novels.

Shelley Long American actress and comedian

Shelley Lee Long is an American actress, singer and comedian. Long is best known for playing Diane Chambers on the hit sitcom Cheers, for which she received five Emmy nominations, winning in 1983 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She won two Golden Globe Awards for the role. Long reprised her role as Diane Chambers in three episodes of the spin-off Frasier, for which she received an additional guest star Emmy nomination. In 2009, she began playing a recurring role as DeDe Pritchett on the ABC comedy series Modern Family.

<i>Three Men and a Baby</i> 1987 American comedy film

Three Men and a Baby is a 1987 American comedy film directed by Leonard Nimoy. It stars Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, and Ted Danson as three bachelors as they attempt to adapt their lives to de facto fatherhood with the arrival of the love child of one of the gentlemen. The script was based on the 1985 French film Trois hommes et un couffin.

Nancy Travis American actress

Nancy Ann Travis is an American actress.

Steve Guttenberg American actor, author, businessman, producer, and director

Steven Robert Guttenberg is an American actor, author, businessman, producer, and director. He is known for his lead roles in Hollywood films of the 1980s and 1990s, including Cocoon, Police Academy, Three Men and a Baby, Diner, The Bedroom Window, Three Men and a Little Lady, The Big Green, and Short Circuit.

<i>The Sword and the Rose</i> 1953 film by Ken Annakin

The Sword and the Rose is a 1953 American-British family and adventure film, produced by Perce Pearce and Walt Disney and directed by Ken Annakin. The film features the story of Mary Tudor, a younger sister of Henry VIII of England.

<i>Finding Neverland</i> (film) 2004 US/UK historical fantasy drama film by Marc Forster

Finding Neverland is a 2004 biographical fantasy film directed by Marc Forster and written by David Magee, based on the 1998 play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee. The film is about playwright J. M. Barrie and his relationship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan. The film earned seven nominations at the 77th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Actor for Johnny Depp, and won for Best Original Score. The film was the inspiration for the stage musical of the same name in 2012.

Robert Stevenson (filmmaker) British film director

Robert Edward Stevenson was an English film screenwriter, director and actor.

<i>Get a Clue</i> 2002 film

Get a Clue is a 2002 Disney Channel Original Movie starring Lindsay Lohan as Lexy Gold, a teenage high school student who investigates a mystery after one of her teachers goes missing. The film premiered on the Disney Channel on June 28, 2002. It was directed by Maggie Greenwald and was written by Alana Sanko.

Leanne Battersby Fictional character from Coronation Street

Leanne Battersby is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Coronation Street, played by Jane Danson. It was announced in February 1997 that a "family from hell" would be introduced to Coronation Street. This included Les and Janice Battersby, Les' daughter Leanne and Janice's daughter Toyah. Leanne made her first appearance on 4 July 1997. Danson left the series on 23 August 2000 and returned on 7 June 2004. Danson later took maternity leave in 2006 and returned in early 2007. Danson took another maternity break in 2009 and returned in the same year. On 27 September 2017, Danson took an extended break from the show and returned three months later on 15 December 2017.

<i>Quigley Down Under</i> 1990 western film by Simon Wincer

Quigley Down Under is a 1990 western film directed by Simon Wincer and starring Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman, and Laura San Giacomo.

<i>The Three Lives of Thomasina</i> 1964 film by Don Chaffey

The Three Lives of Thomasina is a 1963 fantasy film directed by Don Chaffey, starring Patrick McGoohan, Susan Hampshire, child actor Matthew Garber and child actress Karen Dotrice in a story about a cat and her influence on a family. The screenplay was written by Robert Westerby and Paul Gallico. It was based upon Gallico's 1957 novel Thomasina, the Cat Who Thought She Was God. The film was shot in Inveraray, Argyll, Scotland, and Pinewood Studios, England.

<i>The Bedroom Window</i> (1987 film) 1987 film by Curtis Hanson

The Bedroom Window is a 1987 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Curtis Hanson. It stars Steve Guttenberg, Elizabeth McGovern and Isabelle Huppert, and was shot in Baltimore in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood. Based on a novel The Witnesses, by Anne Holden, it tells the story of a young executive who starts an affair with the wife of his boss which then escalates into nightmare after he lies to the police in order to protect her.

<i>The Magic Box</i> 1951 British drama film by John Boulting

The Magic Box is a 1951 British Technicolor biographical drama film directed by John Boulting. The film stars Robert Donat as William Friese-Greene, with numerous cameo appearances by performers such as Peter Ustinov and Laurence Olivier. It was produced by Ronald Neame and distributed by British Lion Film Corporation. The film was a project of the Festival of Britain and adapted by Eric Ambler from the controversial biography by Ray Allister.

<i>The Lost Boys</i> (miniseries) 1978 British docudrama TV miniseries directed by Rodney Bennett

The Lost Boys is a 1978 docudrama mini-series produced by the BBC, written by Andrew Birkin, and directed by Rodney Bennett. It is about the relationship between Peter Pan creator J. M. Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies boys.

Robin Weisman is a former American child actress. She acted between 1990 and 1994.

<i>Mary Poppins Returns</i> 2018 musical film

Mary Poppins Returns is a 2018 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall, with a screenplay written by David Magee and a story by Magee, Marshall, and John DeLuca. Loosely based on the book series Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers, the film is a live-action/traditionally animated sequel to the 1964 live-action/traditionally animated film Mary Poppins, and stars Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, with supporting roles from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and David Warner in his final film appearance. Set in London during the Great Depression, the film sees Mary Poppins, the former nanny of Jane and Michael Banks, return to them in the wake of the death of Michael's wife.


  1. "'Home Alone' Is No. 1". The Albany Herald. November 27, 1990. p. 8.
  2. "'Home Alone' tops box office for third week". The Item. December 3, 1990. p. 50.
  3. "Crafty child of 'Home Alone' still tops in box office business". Kentucky New Era. December 12, 1990. p. 14.
  4. "Three Men and a Little Lady". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  5. Howe, Desson (November 23, 1990). "'Three Men and a Little Lady' (PG)". The Washington Post . Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  6. Kempley, Rita (November 21, 1990). "'Three Men and a Little Lady' (PG)". The Washington Post . Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  7. "Three Men and a Little Lady Soundtrack (1990)".
  8. Reynolds, Simon (June 3, 2010). "Selleck confirms 'Three Men' sequel plans". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  9. Martinovic, Paul (January 5, 2013). "Tom Selleck: 'I think Three Men and a Bride is a good idea'". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  10. Kit, Borys (August 10, 2020). "Zac Efron to Star in 'Three Men and a Baby' Remake for Disney+ (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  11. Disney (December 10, 2020). "Three Men and a Little Baby". Twitter. Retrieved November 23, 2021.