(Netherlands; 100 min.) Having a baby can cause more psychiatric problems than having an abortion, says a study in last month’s New England Journal of Medicine . Granted, that’s a touchy topic for comedy. The Happy Housewife broaches the topic in a manner both funny “ha-ha” and funny not-so “ha-ha.” Carice van Houten plays a frivolous and randy young housewife (she and her husband celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary by joining the mile-high club, upholding the Dutch filmic tradition of copious nude scenes in the first reel) who decides to have a child at her husband’s prompting. She undergoes a ghastly childbirth, and then her troubles begin. The film whipsaws between shallow comedy and the everyday tragedy of a mother who doesn’t immediately fall for her baby. The Happy Housewife ‘s charm rests on the narrow shoulders of van Houten. She largely succeeds in evoking sympathy for a selfish character. (DH)

March 3 at noon, Camera 12; Thu., March 10 at 9:45pm, California Theatre; Sat., March 12 at 7:30pm, Camera 12