Directed by Michael McCullers.
Written by Michael McCullers (co-writer of
Starring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Dax Shepard and Greg Kinnear.
Release Year: 2008
Review Date: 5/12/08
There's no other way to say it--"Baby Mama"
is a Hard Vice, pure and simple.
This is supposed to be a comedy, but I'll be
damned if I laughed more than five times while watching this
absolute piece of shit briquette today after work; rarely do I see
films that seem to be so misguided, randomly cast, or poorly
executed. It also felt like the filmmakers behind "Baby
Mama"--including the film's director, first-time auteur Michael
McCullers--almost knew that this would be bad, because the
transitions for the film are awful and there are long stretches
where my audience didn't laugh at all during scenes that were
clearly meant to be funny.
Tiny Fey plays Kate, a 37-year-old single
woman who has incredible success at her company and a personal life
that is going in the exact opposite direction. But, as bad as
her dating life is, she knows one thing--she really wants a baby, so
after learning that her uterus is "no good", she enlists the help of
a baby services firm (or whatever the fuck they're called) to find a
woman to carry her eggs through to birth...a woman who turns out to
be a trailer-trash sack named Angie (Amy Poehler). Lack of
I admit that I had not heard good or bad
about "Baby Mama" coming into this; in fact, I hadn't even seen a
trailer for the film, odd since it has Tina Fey and a few other
stars in it, but not that odd since I don't watch much TV and I
almost never watch NBC, which I am sure broadcast the hell out of
these trailers. But, what a fucking dog this movie was!
You cast Dax Shepard in your movie, you are asking for trouble...I
don't think that Poehler has been great in any of the films she has
appeared in, but she just isn't better than spot duty
anyway...giving her this meaty of a role was just a bad idea from
the jump. How many times can Fey play the socially awkward
EveryWhiteWoman? Kinnear looks like he stumbled onto the lot
just in time to shoot a movie...and, Sigourney Weaver? I
really thought that Weaver would settle into older age nicely with
roles in movies like
and the severely underappreciated
a useless cameo in "Be Kind Rewind"
and a role like this in "Baby Mama", the limit's the sky, friends!
As bad as the casting is, even a good cast
couldn't make this script work...it's easy to gauge a comedy if no
one in your theater is laughing, especially in points where the
filmmakers have built in pauses for what they think will be
laughter, or bits where you can tell that something was meant to be
funny on paper, but in execution was not. And, "Baby Mama"
just didn't make me laugh, and I'm pretty easy when it comes to
laughter normally. Of course, if your movie fucking blows...
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard