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MPAA RATING: PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a drug reference
Successful and single businesswoman Kate Holbrook has long put her career ahead of a personal life. Now 37, she's finally determined to have a kid on her own. But her plan is thrown a curve ball after she discovers she has only a million-to-one chance of getting pregnant. Undaunted, the driven Kate allows South Philly working girl Angie Ostrowiski to become her unlikely surrogate. Simple enough... After learning from the steely head of their surrogacy center that Angie is pregnant, Kate goes into precision nesting mode: reading childcare books, baby-proofing the apartment and researching top pre-schools. But the executive's well-organized strategy is turned upside down when her Baby Mama shows up at her doorstep with no place to live. An unstoppable force meets an immovable object as structured Kate tries to turn vibrant Angie into the perfect expectant mom. In a comic battle of wills, they will struggle their way through preparation for the baby's arrival. And in the middle of this tug-of-war, they'll discover two kinds of family: the one you're born to and the one you make. (Universal Pictures)
| RELEASE DATE:
Theatrical: April 25, 2008
||96 minutes, Color
All critic scores are converted to a 100-point scale. If a critic does not indicate a score, we assign a score based on the general impression given by the text of the review. Learn more...
It's the chemistry between the stars that makes the film stand out in a drab spring.
Even though Kinnear is meant to be obvious love interest, it's the relationship between Kate and Angie that becomes the film's central story, making this comedy sweeter -- and more honest in its depiction of class difference -- than one might otherwise expect.
Though the competition hasn't exactly been stiff, Fey and Poehler may well be the best female comedy duo since Lucy and Ethel.
Best when skewering New Age entrepreneurs for what might be called Compassionate Capitalism. Steve Martin is sublime as Kate's boss, Barry, purveyor of organic food and Zen koans.
In this era of Apatow and Ferrell and Rogen and Wilson, of men monopolizing movie comedy, Baby Mama feels absurdly momentous, and even political. Fey and Poehler aren't just taking back control of their bodies. They're taking back control of their profession.
Although the big picture itself gets mushy, the small moments, especially involving Fey, are sharp.
This is a comedy with the old-time blend of wit and sentiment. Years from now, when you stumble across it on TV, you could persuade yourself that, back in the two-thousand-oughts, they made pretty good movies.
An essentially sweet-natured picture that doesn't go as far as it could.
Fey is a delight to watch throughout.
New York Post
Surely, if Fey herself had written Baby Mama, this mild cross between "Baby Boom" and "The Odd Couple" would not be so crushingly predictable.
There's nothing terribly wrong with Baby Mama but it's probably better suited for viewing on television, where many of the participants cut their teeth. This is small screen stuff masquerading as something bigger.
The New Yorker
There are gags and scraps of action that give the movie fits of buoyancy, and these tend to come not so much from the younger, eager performers as from the old hands.
New York Daily News
In a pleasing contrast to Fey's sharpness, Poehler keeps her performance unpredictable and fuzzy. In this just-add-water comedy, a very funny movie star is born.
Los Angeles Times
The movie hardly allows itself any sharp moments at all -- it's much too sweet-natured to be cruel, and much too cheerful to be angry. It probably could have pushed a few more buttons, but Baby Mama aims to please and succeeds.
The Hollywood Reporter
Baby Boom serves up plenty of smart, knowing laughs early on, but by the time it hits the third act (or would that be trimester?), it barely crawls to the finish line.
The Onion (A.V. Club)
It's not without laughs--Poehler and Fey, as ever, have strong chemistry, and there's a truly bizarre scene in which Martin offers Fey a strange "reward" for a job well done--but there's a lot of arid space between them.
Writer/director Michael McCullers sprinkles the film with sight gags and comic characters (the lisping birth coach becomes funny out of sheer doggedness), but his pacing is poor and doesn't know how to showcase the small-screen chemistry of Fey and Poehler on the big screen.
San Francisco Chronicle
You could blast for it, and you still won't find 30 uninterrupted seconds of truth in Baby Mama. The characters are lies. Their emotional workings are lies. The jokes are based on lies about human behavior.
M. E. Russell
Sporadically funny, bland, talent-wasting junk.
Pete Vonder Haar
There?s a lot of talent up there on the screen, and some authentic laughs, but too much of it is comedy territory that was claimed long ago.
For those who crave mannerisms and shtick and like their jokes set up and knocked out with plenty of arrows and quote marks, Baby Mama may fall flat. But audiences alive to the modest charms of its take on female friendship will be rewarded with at least a few quiet chuckles.
The New York Times
The film never comes fully to term, as it were: the visual style is sitcom functional, and even the zippiest jokes fall flat because of poor timing. But, much like the prickly, talented Ms. Fey, it pulls you in with a provocative and, at least in current American movies, unusual mix of female intelligence, awkwardness and chilled-to-the-bone mean.
Christian Science Monitor
Poehler is the life of the party and steals just about every scene, although there's not much to steal.
Ultimately, that's all this shrugging disappointment is: a "Saturday Night Live" sketch stretched a good hour past its breaking point of no return.
Midway through I started wondering why I wasn't laughing more. "Baby Mama" was not written by Fey and/or Poehler, which may be the reason.
Baby Mama is the most disappointing movie of the year so far--which, granted, isn't saying a lot in mid-April.
Baby Mama is rescued by two scene-stealing veterans: Sigourney Weaver as the smug, patrician owner of the surrogate company, and a priceless, ponytailed Steve Martin as the self-infatuated New Age owner of Round Earth. These two aren't onscreen a lot, but the movie seems most fully alive when they are.
Wall Street Journal
The show is redeemed by its co-stars, up to a point. They struggle womanfully, and sometimes successfully, to find truth in the script's silly symphony of false notes.
The script favors routine "Odd Couple" gags over the sort of comic contemplation of motherhood a writer like Fey might have brought to the subject.
Just amusing enough to provoke a few chuckles and just short enough to keep you from glancing at your watch.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
A painfully predictable movie.
By the time it reaches its supposedly crowd-pleasing finale, Baby Mama may have self-respecting comedy fans (and even Tina Fey fans) crying uncle.
Just like it is in the world of "SNL" that Fey, Poehler, and McCullers sprang from, the choice gets made time and again to aim not for the high road but for the great, big, fat, juicy, unchallenging, uncontroversial middle ground, where everybody?s laughing but nothing is all that funny.
An exhausting 90 minutes of SNL-centric mediocrity that gives one the nagging feeling that Tina Fey's inability to cut the cord is going to quickly start to cool interest in her upcoming projects.
The average user rating for this movie is 6.6 (out of 10) based on 12 User Votes
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