Friday, October 31, 2008

Movie Log: Baby Mama

Netflix took forever and a day to get us Baby Mama. We used to get new movies lickety-split; I don't know what I've done to offend the Netflix gods -- Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Iron Man have been sitting forlorn on my list nearly as long, too -- but I wish I could figure out the right sacrifice to appease them.

Anyway, Baby Mama. It's an obvious comedy, one in the very long line of movies spawned from Saturday Night Live. This one is not as obviously a SNL movie as some, but the two leads -- Tina Fey and Amy Poehler -- are clearly riffing on the kinds of characters they're known to do on SNL, and the audience went to see this because it knew them from SNL,'s a duck.

Tina Fey is a driven top executive of a Philadelphia-based firm which is not in any way meant to be Whole Foods. (Nuh-uh.) Her career is in top gear, but, to do that, she's completely neglected her personal life -- she has no man, alas! Her biological clock is ticking ever louder -- her fecund sister, Maura Tierney, and "outspoken" mother, Holland Taylor, also don't help -- so she decides to have artificial insemination.

(Silly Tina Fey! Don't you know that meddling in God's Realm -- procreation -- never works in a Hollywood movie? Babies are only made the old-fashioned way, through tastefully implied in-between-scenes sex between the people who have to fall in love to make the plot work.)

So Fey moves on to Plan B, which involves the high-end surrogate operation run by the seemingly eternally pregnant herself Sigourney Weaver. One should be surprised when said high-end operation belches forth the clearly low-end Amy Poehler, playing every stereotype of poor people other than wearing a bib overall with only one strap. One should, but one is not, because one has seen Hollywood movies before, and buddy movies require said buddies to be as mismatched as possible.

Wacky hijinks ensue. No, really: that's the appropriate description of the entire movie; it's a SNL sketch writ large. (A funny one, yes, built around attractive, funny people, but still a thin, obvious thing.)

(I will say that this movie passes the Bechdel Test quite easily -- as long as "not talking about men" doesn't have some sort of exemption for talking about pregnancy. I might just be expecting the Bechdel Test to stand against all gender-stereotyped behavior, which is too much to ask of any single metric.)

I haven't mentioned Greg Kinnear, who is in this movie so Fey can have someone to fall in love with. Or Steve Martin, who's quite funny as Fey's Harvard Business School/Hippie boss. Or Dax Shepard, as the obviously wrong guy Poehler needs to learn to extract herself from.

If you've seen the trailer -- and you probably have, by this point -- you know what this movie is about. If you laughed at the trailer, you'll laugh at the movie; not just those same jokes, but many more that are very similar. If you hated the trailer, stay far away from the movie.

But, as every vaguely geeky male of about my age must admit, Tina Fey is intensely hot, which was more than enough reason for me to be happy to look at her for about a hundred minutes.

1 comment:

RobB said...

I never got Tina Fey - either her humor or her hotness. Then again I stopped watching SNL years ago

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