May 2008 28

Tina Fey’s second effort at writing for the big screen is a fairly successful comedy, that doesn’t live up to her comedy chops on 30 Rock. Directed by Michael McCullers, Baby Mama follows the story of Kate Holbrook (Fey), a hard working 30 something that has never had time for a child or family as she worked up the corporate ladder of her whole foods company. After trying the artificial insemination route, Kate, finds out that her Uterus is just not up to snub so she decides to endeavor in the surrogate route.
Her potential surrogate is Angie Ostrowiski (Amy Poehler) a white-trash’ish woman filled with irresponsibility and a childish demeanor, an exact opposite to Kate’s neat and responsible adult figure. The two decide to have a baby together and are forced to live together when Angie moves out of her boyfriend’s place after a recent fight.
Over the course of the film, Kate buds a romance with a smoothie restaurant owner (Greg Kinnear), gains even more respect and praise from her boss (Steve Martin) as she heads the opening of a new whole foods store, and learns some of the pains of child care when dealing with the woman child that is her surrogate.
The film is a bit predictable at the end, but there are plenty of actual interesting twists and turns I didn’t see coming along the way. The movie also manages to be silly without being ridiculous and remains consistently funny throughout. The pacing of the film is also pretty solid with no real areas where it drags or leaves you restless. The comedy is also a nice blend of smart, subtle, slapstick, and geeky, as it is with most of Fey’s work, and has a little bit of everything for everyone. The cast is what makes this film really work though.
Fey and Poehler have been long friends from since before their stint on Saturday Night Live and work well as an odd couple thrown into the mix together. Each of them does a good job of playing to their character’s strengths without over blowing into just playing the stereotypes they can easily fall into. The supporting cast around them doesn’t some great work as well. Kinnear plays the charming everyman role, and we have seen him her before, but he is so damn good and likable it’s just a joy to watch him kind of walk similar paths from time to time. Steve Martin is hilarious in his brief appearances as the CEO of Kate’s company, constantly stealing the scene every time he is on the screen. Sigourney Weaver plays the role of the surrogate owner and is funny as the baby loving and fertile freak that is the bane of Kate’s dreams and desires. Romany Malco also makes the most of his limited screen time as an advisor doorman on the dangers of being a Baby Mama.
In the end, Baby Mama is an enjoyable comedy that has a little bit for everyone. The cast carries the picture and makes us care, while the script keeps us on our toes a majority of the time. Though it doesn’t reinvent comedy, or do anything particularly amazing, Baby Mama is a nice light hearted comedy that is definitely worth checking out at theaters or at home when it hits the rental market.


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