Length: 96 minutes
Director: Michael McCullers
Writer: Michael McCullers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; Austin Powers in Goldmember)
Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steve Martin, Greg Kinnear, Sigourney Weaver, Dax Shepard, Maura Tierney, Romany Malco, Will Forte, Holland Taylor, James Rebhorn, Fred Armisen, Siobhan Fallon
I have a friend that loves “30 Rock” and he’s been trying to get me to watch it for sometime and I still haven’t gotten around to watching an entire episode. I’m a bad friend because I could recommend a diaper commercial to this guy and he’d watch it for me. Maybe it was because I just wasn’t that into Tina Fey. Sure, like the rest of us I laughed at some of her “Weekend Update” bits on “Saturday Night Live”, but she just didn’t have that presence that drew me in (I know she’s the brainchild behind “Mean Girls”, but I thought that one was a bit overrated). “Baby Mama” oddly enough has changed my mind. I was at the movie theaters a couple of weeks ago after the girlfriend and I scrapped together enough change to see “Snow Angels” and towards the end of the film some joker in the theater pulled the fire alarm. They evacuated the theater and Sarah and I ended up with twelve free movie passes in the process (a total score- when I went back a few days later to catch the rest of “Snow Angels”- it didn’t even cost me one of my free passes!). So while Sarah has been hard at work with her night shifts, I have been spending my evenings theater hopping at the local Regal cinemas. I saw the poster for “Baby Mama”, which features Fey and her former “Update” co-anchor Amy Poehler making goofy faces, and decided that it would be worthy of a free pass, but I probably wouldn’t have paid to see it. Twenty minutes into the movie and I decided that I would have paid to see it after all. For everyone that complains that girls can’t make funny movies without turning them into romantic goop, this movie will prove you wrong. Joke after joke works and although it has it’s fair share of scatological humor, it also is more intelligent then has every right to be. Fey stars as Kate- a successful businesswoman who works for a hippie boss (Steve Martin- reminding us that he’s still a comic genius even if keeps making “Cheaper by the Dozen” movies). She had never wanted children, but now that she’s approaching forty her biological clock is clicking. A doctor informs her that she has a one in a million chance of conceiving on her own. She finds out that a single mother could have to wait up to five years to adopt. Her only option is going the surrogate mother route. An agency, run by an extremely fertile middle aged woman named Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver), hooks her up with Angie. Angie is pure white trash and brings along her redneck boyfriend (Dax Shepard- finally funny for a change) for the interview. Everything goes fine, until Angie and her boyfriend break up and Kate finds Angie at her doorstep needing a place to live. What could have been a clichéd “Odd Couple” knock off ends up being good for a lot of laughs. Sure they don’t get along at first and eventually they will grow to love one another, but you’ll be laughing so much that you’ll actually be rooting for it happen instead of just waiting for it to happen. Poehler is an underrated comedienne and she has been relegated to smaller roles that don’t give her a chance to show off all her comic chops (her bits in “Southland Tales” were brilliant). Here she is given the freedom to pull out all the punches and it works. She’s great- and, in turn, so is Fey. She has the appeal to be a movie star. I’m starting to think that I need to start taking my friend’s advice and start watching “30 Rock”. If it’s anything like this, then it will be worth my time.
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