Baby Mama (2008)
Director: Michael McCullers; Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear
IMDb Plot Summary: A successful, single businesswoman who dreams of having a baby discovers she is infertile and hires a working class woman to be her unlikely surrogate
If I were to start my own branch of Paganism, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would be my goddesses, such is my admiration for their work. In Baby Mama, they team up to tackle the perils of patchy screenwriting and cheesy plotting, and they do so with moderate success.
The film gets off to a bumpy start as we get an introduction to career-focused, baby-crazy Kate (Tina Fey). Sadly, the annoyingly mechanical direction seems to dull Fey’s usually sharp comedic timing and most of the jokes fall flat. But once Amy Poehler sweeps in, with all her bubbly charisma in tow, things pick up considerably. Poehler may be unconvincing as “white trash”, but she is wholly charming and very funny as the irresponsible, adolescent opposite to Fey’s dorky, driven “career woman”. There are echoes of Leslie Knope and Liz Lemon all over the shop, but honestly, who could object to that?
And yet, though its all very amiable, Baby Mama is a forgettable experience, featuring a bland plot and jokes that don’t hit their target quite as often as they should. Steve Martin, as a hippy dippy CEO, gets to sneak in some funny moments, and a host of other talented comedians are enlisted for bit parts, but you can’t help wishing for a more ambitious script for them to work with. What we are offered is some light fun and the chance to see two of this generation’s most appealing comediennes having a really great time together. Not too shabby, really.