The Poehler Effect

3 06 2008

“Baby Mama” 2008

Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steve Martin, Sigourney Weaver

I have this thing about comedy films. Inappropriately high expectations, I suppose. My obsession with the belly-laugh inducing humor of classics like “Some Like It Hot” isn’t easily replicated, especially by the dime-a-dozen comedies Hollywood seems to spit out with nauseating frequency these days. I think at this point, there actually going to have to start spoofing the spoofs (“Walk Hard,” “Scary Movies I thru XVI). A simple parody won’t nearly cut it anymore. They’re going to have to start making fun of the funny movies that make fun of other movies (including movies that intended to be funny in the first place) if we want people to think they are going into the theater to see an film with an even moderately new idea.

I digress. I really wanted to talk about “Baby Mama,” Tina Fey’s new feature. For those of you who didn’t know, Tina Fey (of “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” fame) was responsible for the Lindsey Lohan megahit “Mean Girls.” And despite my bitter hatred for all things Lindsey and the sour attitude towards the modern comedy I hinted at in the previous paragraph, I thought “Mean Girls” was fantastic. All twelve times I saw it. Lohan herself didn’t do much for me, but Rachel McAdams nailed her role as the queen bitch and Lacey Chabert was a riot as her hysterical sidekick Gretchen . I wanted to grab her cheeks and kiss her during a screechy tirade she made during English class about the evils of a certain well-known and universally feared tyrant. I couldn’t. I was laughing too hard.

Again. Getting back to the point. The screenplay of “Mean Girls” was adapted by Fey from a book, therefore I have come to respect her a great deal. “Baby Mama” was written by someone else. But like “Mean Girls,” it still gives screentime to my two favorite (current) SNL ladies, Fey and Amy Poehler. And it proves to be a very worthy vehicle for their comedic chemistry. It is not the funniest movie I have ever seen by a longshot. And my idea of a very funny movie is most likely very different from yours (my sisters still roll their eyes at me for my complete lack of appreciation for anything with Judd Apatow’s stamp on it). But I can shamelessly endorse this film if for no other reason than because I nearly wet myself during Dax Shepard’s entrance into a courtroom and subsequent address of the presiding Judge.

There are parts of “Baby Mama” that are not so funny at all. Siobhan Fallon as the birthing class instructor tries her hand at a completely ridiculous and transparent lisp which adds no comic value whatsoever to the film. Steve Martin as Fey’s free-thinking boss is simply not funny, and Sigourney Weaver as Fey’s newly pregnant fifty-something fertility specialist is just creepy.

That pretty much leaves Fey and Poehler. Luckily Shepard jumps in for some white-trash comic relief as Poehler’s husband, because Fey’s love interest, played by Greg Kinnear, is rather boring. The film didn’t do too well in writing or casting its supportive actors. Luckily, the leading ladies more than compensate for the periodic shifts-of-attention to other characters.

I realize, upon re-reading this review, that I may not have chosen the best way to endorse a film that I really did enjoy. “Baby Mama” is no classic, and it probably will not have even the longevity of “Mean Girls,” (which, let’s face it, is not going down in history as the most influential satire of all time). But it kept me entertained, which is more than I can say for the likes of “Made of Honor” and “What Happens in Vegas,” two other alleged comedies released around the same time.

♦♦½

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3 responses

4 06 2008
Lindsay Lohan Celebrity Gossip | “Baby Mama” Review

[…] For those of you who didn’t know, Tina Fey (of “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” fame) was responsible for the Lindsey Lohan megahit “Mean Girls.” And despite my bitter hatred for all things Lindsey and the sour attitude towards the … Source: “Baby Mama” Review […]

10 06 2008
Michael

Your reviews are great! I wanted to let you know that I just published a feature on you at http://www.stayfamous.blogspot.com. Right now you’re the lead story. Let me know if it’s okay to put the picture of you from this blog in the article and I will add it right away. Thanks and keep up the good work!

16 07 2008
queen birthing times

[…] I suppose. My obsession with the belly-laugh inducing humor of classics like ???Some Like Ihttps://meganhorsington.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/baby-mama-review/10 Essential Pregnant Cat Care TipsDon’t expose an expecting kitty to danger. But there are more […]

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