| The Red Right Hand
Simply put, Baby Mama is a hideously predictable, stupid buddy comedy that follows the genre's trend in that it's not actually funny. Now, every once-in-a-while audiences will be rewarded with The Odd Couple, Lethal Weapon or The Fox And The Hound (…er, I suppose) but primarily it's a pretty formulaic premise that reserves itself for naff cop films. The plot is so very simple that it becomes predictable to even the feeblest of minds. Hard-working single Vice President, Kate [Fey] feels her biological clock is at five minutes to midnight and decides she needs to have a baby. Not willing to waste time on such frivolous complications as love, sex, marriage or even another human being, she looks into all available possibilities - those being in vitro fertilisation, sperm donation, adoption, stealing babies from mothers in crowded lifts and after being informed she has a T-shaped uterus, surrogacy. For those that don't know, surrogacy is when a donor offers her womb (for a fee of course) to house and carry another woman's ova. So the donor turns out to be Angie [Poehler], this white trash moron who pisses in the sink. Following a split from her white trash husband, Carl (played by the increasingly irritating Dax Shepard), Angie moves in with Kate and suffers her constant bossing and nagging. Later we discover Angie and Carl have in fact lied about the pregnancy but Angie can't tell her new best friend the bad news so tries to simply lie her way out of it. Add a very obscure boss, a wishy-washy love interest, a racist family and a doorman and you have the makings of a 7lb, stinky baby flick. Congratulations.
If the script wasn't bad enough, the characters are so very stereotypically drawn - there's the fussy executive type, the flawlessly compassionate hippie ex-lawyer boyfriend, the white trash girl with a heart of gold and her white trash guy but with nothing going for him and finally the black doorman who spouts pointless pearls of wisdom along with, "Damn! I did not need to see that!" and "You got baby mama drama!" The only saving grace in the cast is Tina Fey. I'm a rather big fan of 30 Rock and although I haven't watched SNL since it got mired and lost its sense of humour, I have heard good things about her performances. Somehow Ms. Fey manages to pull a fairly commendable performance out of a thoroughly bad script. Amy Poehler, on the other hand, I'm not overly sure about. She did what she could but I think her character was so very 2D that nothing could save it.
From a technical standpoint, this film was actually pretty well made; visually, I have very few complaints. Seemingly that would indicate a successful directorial debut for Michael McCullers (responsible for co-writing the Austin Powers movies) but unfortunately, he still wrote the script and thereby shooting himself in the foot.
Strangely enough, this is the only film to challenge the release of The Dark Knight. An act I am sure the studio executives will thoroughly regret. Don't get me wrong, I see what they were trying to do, I can imagine a board of suits saying, "Some people might not want to see Batman. Girls. Girls don't like men in rubber suits. Lets try and sneak a girly film out for anybody who doesn't want to see Batman." The only problem being it's an incredibly sexist and stupid idea. Tough luck, lads.
Oh! And Steve bloody Martin? Where the hell did you dig him up!?
25th July 2008
The Scene To Look Out For:
To establish that Kate is desperate for a baby, we are subjected to a stupid opening baby montage (the idea being, when you want something you can't help but see it everywhere) that had all the women in the audience whimsically sighing, "aww." Nauseating! I understood the effect, I understood the nature of the joke, I got what they were trying to illustrate and it still wasn't bloody funny.
On this occasion, I wish to highlight somebody who wasn't actually in the film. Nor was he involved in the making of the film. He will forever be known to me as the "Oh No! Guy." During a badly written wave of coincidence, Rob (the annoyingly content/naïve boyfriend who knows nothing of the surrogacy flatly played by Greg Kinnear) arrives at Kate & Angie's baby shower. Lots of guests and family, lots of questions, lots of potential for embarrassment, etc. Angie is already in a state of panic as the baby she is now carrying, though he is unaware, is in fact Carl's. Whilst Kate frantically tries to defuse the situation, none other than Carl shows up to blow Angie's cover! Dun dun duun! As stated, it's stupid and predictable but the second Carl walks into the party, one man in thw screening audience gasped and with sounding genuinely concerned exclaimed, "Oh no!" ...I always ask myself, "Who wouldn't see this film for the predictable cack is?" So, thank you, Oh No! Guy, you've answered so very many questions.
"How can you be pregnant? Your eggs are from the forties!"
In A Few Words:
"It's not as hideously insufferable as Meet Dave but its lack of originality and waste of talent is insulting"