Review Date: August 14, 2008
Director: Michael McCullers
Writer: Michael McCullers
Producers: Lorne Michaels, John Goldwyn
Tina Fey as Kate
Amy Poehler as Angie
Greg Kinnear as Rob
A highly successful professional woman who cannot bear children of her own decides to hire a surrogate mother who will marinate her eggs and a man’s sperm inside herself for money, so that nine months later, the professional woman can end up with a child of her own. It turns out that the surrogate chick is pretty low-class though, so the comedy of errors between the two women (who end up living together at some point) ensues…
I’ve been majorly disappointed by romantic comedies over the past year or so. It seems like Hollywood has completely given up on trying to do anything unique or with heart (other than the Apatow crew), and would rather just slap a couple of “hot stars” into a rehashed screenplay that adds nothing new to the genre (other than references to YouTube and “texting”) and provide us with little to no connection to its characters. BABY MAMA isn’t a homerun by any means, but at least the filmmakers didn’t concentrate solely on the goofy jokes between the professional woman and the white trash chick (although there certainly are a few doozies), and also added an interesting storyline, as well as some actual connection to its two lead characters. Granted, pretty much everyone else in the movie is one-dimensional and “comedic” (Steve Martin and Sigourney Weaver do their best, but neither is particularly funny), but at least Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are believable and generate actual chemistry between them. It’s obvious that the two ladies have been riffing off each other for years and it shows here. I liked the repartee between the two ladies the most in this film, along with some of the “real stuff” near the end of the movie (go to school, grrrlpower).
Of course, I think the essential topic of the movie has to interest you to begin with, since much of the humor is pregnancy/baby-related, but even though I’m a guy and apparently can’t have babies myself (although that one dude on Oprah was able to pop one out, so who knows what my future holds), I was able to relate to some of the characters’ growing up issues, and certainly giggled at a handful of the one-liners between Fey and Poehler. The film could’ve been a lot better had its secondary characters also brought something to the table, but other than Dax Shepard, who generally makes me laugh, respected actors like Greg Kinnear and Maura Tierney were wasted here. The film moves at a nice pace though, tosses a couple of unexpected twists into its mix, features a good soundtrack and doesn’t necessarily get too over-the-top or outlandish. That said, I can’t recommend it too highly since it didn’t really provide me with many major hardee-hars, didn’t feature any truly memorable sequences (although that birthing teacher with the speech impediment was terribly unfunny), and will most certainly be appreciated more by women than men. Natch! All in all, a decent rental with your lady-friend, but nothing to warm your sperm over.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian