Baby Mama: Starring Tina Fey & Amy Poehler

Tina Fey wants a baby.  And who better to give her one than former SNL cast member and Weekend Update co-host Amy Poehler?  Fey plays Kate Holbrook, a successful business woman from Philadelphia who has always put her work before her personal life.  Now in her late 30’s, single and with an abnormally T-shaped uterus, she has little chance of getting pregnant even if she tries.  After numerous adoption agencies turn her down, she comes across an agency specializing in pairing up women with surrogate mothers.  Founded by Chafnee Bicknell, played by the hilarious Sigourney Weaver, the agency eventually pairs Kate up with South Philly deadbeat Angie (Poehler).  Angie soon leaves her common law husband Carl (the quintessential white trashy Dax Sheppard) and shows up at Kate’s front door.

It sounds close enough to a future episode of 30 Rock that its got to be funny, right?  Unfortunately, Fey and Poehler canít ultimately save the film from bland comedic mediocrity.  Not even Steve Martin, as Kate’s earthy crunchy boss and CEO of an organic grocery store seems original and only manages to score a few chuckles as he rewards Kate with five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact. However, its not the performances that drag this film down.  Its actually these performances that keep the film afloat and save it from being DOA.  Perhaps its the fact that Fey and Poehler are only actors and werent involved with the making or writing of the film.  Feys character is still strangely close to Liz Lemon of 30 Rock but the jokes aren’t from the heart like Lemon’s always are.  They’re second hand and drab lacking any real emotion or subtext.  While its finally great to see Poehler playing a semi-leading role and she achieves the most laughs, her character is never consistent. 

Most of this can be blamed on the painfully mediocre writing and directing.  However, the editing is just as agonizingly obvious.  The eventual love story between Kate and Rob (Greg Kinnear) doesn’t start till the movie is nearly finished and appears to be shoved in and rushed through.  Perhaps if the filmmakers weren’t scared of making a comedy longer than 90 minutes, it would have more time to settle in and play itself out. But the film never dares to be different and for this it is doomed to be just another cookie-cutter, summer comedy that will slightly stand above the rest due to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s amusing performances.

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