Baby Mama (2008)


I was surprised to learn that this movie was not written by Tina Fey. It’s amazing really, because it just feels incredibly Fey-ish. Quirky humor, a female lead who has it together career-wise at the expense of her personal life, references to Oprah… it’s almost like I’m reading Bossypants or watching 30 Rock. (And now I’m missing 30 Rock. *sad face*)I mean, how did Tina Fey not write this? I can only assume that these roles were specifically written for Fey and Amy Poehler, because I couldn’t imaging anyone else doing the job.

This is a pretty solid comedy, though not one of my favorites. I love Fey and Poehler, and Greg Kinnear, Sigourney Weaver, and Steve Martin give great supporting performances. There are some great one-liners (“I’m going to bang all your friends. Consider them all banged!”), and some funny visual gags. The plot– a successful career woman seeks a surrogate to carry her baby when she can’t have her own– is fresh, and the film does a great job of crafting jokes around the very serious topic of infertility. But something just keeps me from really loving this movie, and I’m not sure what it is.

Maybe my bar is set too high. After all, when I think “Tina Fey Movie, ” I think Mean Girls. Maybe if Fey had actually written Baby Mama I’d enjoy it just that tiny bit more and put it on my list of favorites. I mean the wit is there, it’s just missing that extra bite that I’ve come to know and love from Fey.

Rating: B

I really love Tina Fey. 30 Rock is one of the best shows of all time and her moments on Saturday Night Live were really funny. When she and Jimmy Fallon hosted Weekend Update, it was a really strong period of time for the show which I don’t think has been replicated since they and a few other actors moved on to other projects. One of those other actors to leave SNL was Amy Poehler. Poehler and Tina Fey are the two leads in this film and their chemistry is amazing. This could very well have been just another comedy, but the chemistry between the two lead actresses elevates it above that mediocre level it may have reached otherwise. Fey and Poehler are best friends away from the camera and it’s really obvious during this film. They have such natural chemistry in Baby Mama, it’s something that couldn’t be done by two people who just met each other.

Baby Mama is a feminine story for the new millennium. Tine Fey stars as Kate, an executive in her 40s who never found time to have kids in the corporate world. She struggles to adopt due to not being married and doctors ‘just don’t like her uterus’ when she enquires about artificial insemination. Enter Poehler as Angie, she is a crude unemployed woman drifting through life. She thinks she is pregnant and through a unique set of events, she ends up being Kate’s surrogate mother. Kate is very finicky when it comes to her own life and is prepared to take all precautions necessary to ensure she has a healthy child. This does not fit well with Angie’s junk food eating, alcohol inducing lifestyle. Sparks obviously fly between the two leading to entertaining conflict. Soon after Angie becomes Kate’s surrogate, she discovers she’s not really pregnant. For a variety of reasons (getting away from a dud boyfriend, needs the money) she decides to continue the ruse as long as she can.

This film is very funny. It’s one of the few films to star Tina Fey that she didn’t write herself, but there’s still fun to be had here. The two leads are great, and there is a really funny role for Steve Martin as Kate’s eccentric boss. He steals every scene he’s in. Dax Shepherd is also good as Poehler’s dud boyfriend.

Rating: B

One thought on “Baby Mama (2008)

  1. Pingback: Date Night (2010) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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