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When the Bough Breaks

Updated on September 16, 2016
Stevennix2001 profile image

Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic that writes about movies in his spare time.

Stevennix2001's Rating:

6 / 10


  • Acting was good
  • Direction was OK for the most part
  • Cinematography was tasteful. Sets up each scene quite well.
  • Although the story can be a bit corny and unrealistic at times, it's a lot of fun to watch, as it's actually quite engaging for the most part.
  • Paced well.


  • While the plot had some interesting concepts and ideals, the film still comes off as being kind of corny in how unrealistic it is. Without giving away any major spoilers, there's quite a few death scenes, yet the police never find out about them, which makes the plot reek of bad writing.
  • The story, while engaging, is a tad soap opera-ish to the point that it's kind of laughable at times; hence why I would probably consider this more of a guilty pleasure movie than anything else.

Damn, I wish girls would send me images like this during online conversations.
Damn, I wish girls would send me images like this during online conversations.

Fun Little Fact about the "When the Bough Breaks" Nursery Rhyme

"Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetops/When the wind blows, the cradle will rock/When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall/And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Unlike other rhymes whose sinister undertones only become apparent with research, “Rock-a-Bye baby” boldly states “dead infant” right at the get-go. So how did this high-octane nightmare fuel of a ditty come about? The leading theory is it hails from early U.S. settlers who reported how Native Americans often rocked their babies in cradles suspended from tree branches, allowing the wind to gently sway them to sleep (or a gust to hurl them into oblivion). A competing take is that it’s actually about birth, with the tree as the mother, the wind as her contractions, the bough as her water breaking, and the “cradle and all” as the placenta. That would not only make it a poem about life instead of death, but would also give it all the soothing bedtime story qualities of a child imagining his own head crowning from his mommy’s nether regions."

This is a direct statement from the website, Smosh, about the real possible meaning behind the "When the Bough Breaks" nursery rhyme.

Hell Has No Fury Like A Woman Scorned

As I watch movies like these about a couple wanting a baby so much that they enlist the help of a surrogate mother, who turns out to be insane, I can't help but wonder....didn't they even think about adopting a baby? Seriously, why isn't adoption more openly acceptable in today's society? Statistically speaking, the Earth is overpopulated, and orphans deserve good homes too. And just because he/she wouldn't be blood related to you, it doesn't mean it can't be a part of your family regardless. After all, the word "family" is something of a relative term these days, as your best friend could easily be like the brother/sister you never had.

Or if a step father raises a kid that isn't even his own, after the real father walks out on the mother, then wouldn't the fact that the step father, who took the time to raise said child, be considered more of a father to him/her than some random a**hole, who happens to be nothing more than a sperm donor? Seriously, anyone who thinks that the only way to be a part of a family is to be blood related is beyond ignorant. But I digress.

The story is about a financially successful African American couple, John and Lauren Taylor (both played by Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall respectively) living in the suburbs, and they're trying to have a baby. Unfortunately, Lauren is unable to conceive, so both decide to seek out a surrogate mother, who will agree to carry Lauren's sperm filled egg inside her for nine months. Needless to say, they're search proves to be fruitless until they meet Anna Walsh (Jaz Sinclair), who seems too good to be true.

Granted, her boyfriend comes off as a bit of a shady character, but Lauren loves Anna so much that she coerces her husband to go against his better judgment. To make a long story short, Anna and her boyfriend are con artists, with plans to extort money from them. What was originally supposed to be an elaborate scam soon turns into something far worse.

Anna becomes so touched by John's kindness that she falls madly in love with him. In fact, she not only kills her boyfriend for him, but she even does various things that potentially put his job and marriage in jeopardy, in the slim hopes of stealing him away from Lauren.

John resists of course, but Anna is a psychotic b***h, who'll stop at nothing to get what she wants. And since the baby is inside her body, the law apparently recognizes Anna as the biological mother, so it puts a strain on the situation at hand.

And at that moment, she told herself, "It's time to cut a b**ch....."
And at that moment, she told herself, "It's time to cut a b**ch....."

What follows from here is a deadly mind game of "cat and mouse" between our doting couple and our pregnant sociopath. John of course is forced to do things against his will in order to save the child, while Lauren is put through tons of emotional stress.

I won't divulge what happens from here, but I will say that even though the movie can be a bit corny at times, it's actually entertaining to watch. Granted, it's not the best thriller out there, and it's far from being realistic.

Without divulging too much, a few people die in this movie, but here's the tricky part. The police never find out about these deaths. And, it's not like after they die that the person who killed them hides the body and evidence well. No, they literally just die, and the police never find out about it. It's quite remarkable to watch, and it makes you wonder if the cops in this film are just incompetent, or if it's a byproduct of bad writing.

But in spite of these complaints, the movie is actually a lot of fun to watch. The acting isn't half bad, and the story is quite engaging. Granted, the story's basic premise seems like something you'd find in a badly written soap opera on daytime TV, but it's one of those rare corny unrealistic soaps that's so remarkably bad that it's fun to watch if only to get a few cheap laughs out of it.

"When the Bough Breaks" is a great guilty pleasure film if you ever want to watch a badly written soap opera-ish plot on the big screen, but if you're yearning for something more, then I'd probably pass on this one completely.

© 2016 Steven Escareno


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