The significance of Amy Heckerling's films Look Who's Talking (1989) and Look Who's Talking Too (1990) emerges most clearly when comparing them to others of the same genre. As attitudes toward the formation and structure of the American family have become more liberal, Hollywood comedies have begun to position the single or expectant mother in romantic comedies. This has been particularly evident in the recent trend of ‘mom-coms,’ including but not limited to The Back-up Plan (Alan Poul, 2010), The Switch (Josh Gordon and Will Speck, 2010), Friends with Kids (Jennifer Westfeldt, 2011), and What to Expect When You're Expecting (Kirk Jones, 2012), where single mothers who have fallen pregnant through non-traditional means combine pregnancy and motherhood with the search for a mate.
In tandem with these films, there is also a trend toward narratives about “accidental” mothers, as in Raising Helen (Garry Marshall, 2004), Knocked Up (Judd Apatow, 2007), No Reservations (Scott Hicks, 2007), and Life As We Know It (Greg Berlanti, 2010), where women either fall pregnant unexpectedly, or become mothers by inheriting the children of deceased friends or family members. This latter group of mom-coms have their root in the 1980s, when there was a considerable trend toward comedy films about motherhood and child-rearing, including Mr. Mom (Stan Dragoti, 1983), Baby Boom (Charles Shyer, 1987), and Three Men and a Baby (Leonard Nimoy, 1987), in which parenthood is thrust upon unwitting career women, and men, who learn that it is more fulfilling than their corporate lives. Susan Faludi recognizes the backlash messages of these films in the way they promote a particular idea of motherhood: “These movies aren't really reflecting women's return to total motherhood, they are marketing it … The backlash films struggle to make motherhood as alluring as possible. Cuddly babies in designer clothes displace older children on the 1980s screen.” Baby Boom is a prime example of this, as the film reinstates the initially reluctant mother, J. C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton), in a small town where she is romanced by the local vet and sets up a cottage industry manufacturing baby food.