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3.9 out of 5 stars
Baby Mama
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This is another flick my 15 year old granddaughter drug me to, kicking and screaming (practically). It sounded DUMB, but she kept whining and I caved in. Well, guess what? I LOVED it! I was laughing so hard she kept banging me all through the movie to shut me up (saw it in the theater).

I see it got some less-than-wonderful reviews, and, as we know, everybody has different opinions.It begins with a single 37-year old career woman who is suddenly bitten by the baby bug and she knows her biological clock is ticking. She tries finding a "donor," but that seems to scare away her dates. She tries a sperm bank, looking for a suitable specimine who looks like he might produce a handsome child. Then she considers invetro but the doc tells her she probably can't get pregnant anyway because her uterus is T shaped. This leads her to seek out a surrogate mother to carry her child for her.

Now I agree, this doesn't really sound funny but it is. Tina Fey is great as the wanna-be momma. A yoga version of Steve Martin with a long ponytail is her boss as she becomes Vice President of Development of a large organic health food store chain. Sigorney Weaver runs the surrogate agency and for a cool $100K, will fix you up with a "thoroughly screened" surrogate :-). I don't know everyone's name but the surrogate is a hoot, and her and Tina clash constantly, even to the point where they have to both attend a conflict support group. The surrogate has a greedy boyfriend, too. Greg Kinnear turns up in the movie, too and I just love him in the movies. The friendly doorman at Tina's hotel has a cool part, too. It's really a great movie and has a lot of fine actors in it. Kathy W gives this a big thumbs up!
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Baby Mama is a cute film with a few good laughs and some essentially entertaining comedy. It's by no means going to be "movie of the year;" but it isn't a flop, either. Baby Mama gets its strength from some excellent acting and the plot moves along at a good pace. My basic regret is that it could have been so much funnier than it was. It is an ambitious film, too, in that it tackles a serious issue through comedy. Sadly, it doesn't completely accomplish either goal. Sigh.

When the action begins, career woman Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) realizes that her biological clock is ticking fast and she doesn't have the one thing to make her feel truly happy and complete--a baby. Everywhere Kate goes, she sees babies and she adores them. Eventually, Kate finds out that she can't have a baby even through artificial means; and then she goes to a fancy agency run by Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver) to find a surrogate mother.

Naturally, Chaffee Bicknell reassures Kate that the $100,000 fee for getting a top "quality" woman to carry her baby for nine months is well worth it--and then Chaffee steers Kate right toward a somewhat sleazy woman named Angie Ostrowiski (Amy Poehler) who is posing as a model woman to carry another woman's baby. Angie's common-law husband/boyfriend Carl (Dax Shepard) isn't any more sophisticated or much better than Angie.

Time goes by and Kate and Angie live together when Angie has a break up with Carl. This provides mild comic relief with the predictable conflicts two people face when one (Kate) is a highly educated, straight laced and uptight career woman while the other (Angie) lives for singing along with her "American Idol" video game while munching constantly on potato chips, eating all types of junk food and even drinking! And yes, there's a bit more comic relief one night when Angie and Kate go out dancing--but it's just not as funny as it could have been. Sigh.

Of course, the plot can go anywhere from here. Will Kate's baby arrangement work out? Will Angie and Carl ever divulge their huge secret to Kate? What about Angie's pregnancy--how does Kate help out with that? No plot spoilers here, folks--watch the movie and find out!

Look for a great performance by Tina Fey as Kate; and Greg Kinnear gives a terrific performance as Rob, a guy Kate becomes romantically involved with. Steve Martin also fits in well as Barry, Kate's boss at the health-food company.

Overall, Baby Mama gets a pat on the back from me for some good aspects--I liked the acting and the plot moves along well. However, as a comedy it falls short of my expectations although the subplots involving Carl and Angie's "secret" and Kate's romance with Rob are fairly well done. Take in this movie on a rainy afternoon if you've already seen some better films first. Baby Mama is one flick you should see--but only if you get a completely free opening in your schedule. Walk, but don't run to see this film.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2008
The theater i saw it in was completely full, a huge surprise because I wasn't expecting a big interest in the film and there were severe storms outside. But the movie was a huge surprise, I laughed the whole time at the mixture of silly gags and very smart humor. The whole audience loved it.

And as much as I've loved all the raunchy comedies out lately, this movie was the PERFECT Anti-Apatow.

Tina and Amy had great chemistry and the supporting cast was great, including a decent performance from Steve Martin and a hilarious character performance from Sigourney Weaver.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2008
Format: DVD
Any film with the Fey/Peohler mix -- the combo has the wit, timing and symbiotic comic genuis of Lucille Ball (Lucy) and Vivian Vance (Ethel)-- should be a winner. I write with great disappointment that Baby Mama, written and directed by Michael McCullers (The spy who shagged me) does nothing to take advantage of this dynamo duo.

The script co-opted mainstream Hollywoods's version of humor and dulled down most opportunites for belly shaking laughter. Amy Peohler's character loses her quirky charm early on in the film, and Tina Fey's character begins to take herself way too seriously.

Perhaps the film wanted to send messages: what is friendship, what is loyalty, and forgot that it was supposed to be a comedy.

It's not that the movie wasn't cute (it is) or sweet (it is), but it just does not hit the mark.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
To its credit, "Baby Mama" is not your typical one-joke movie starring "Saturday Night Live" alums. It's more of a one-and-a-half joke movie. In "Mama", Tina Fey's OCD career woman, unable to conceive and unwilling to wait for an adoption, hires Amy Poehler's ADD surrogate mother to carry her baby. How will this odd couple survive nine months together? With hilarious results, of course. Well, moderately hilarious, at least, thanks in large part to its two seriously talented comedic leads. This contemporary comedy draws our attention to the business of babies. It does so however in such a hackneyed fashion that if it weren't for the talented mama's at the forefront of it all, it would be little more than a painful delivery.

Personally I feel that "Mama" is written, with one contrivance too many, by Michael McCullers who co-wrote the last two "Austin Powers" movies. Mr. McCullers makes his directorial debut here but, even at 96 minutes, "Mama" eventually runs awfully thin. There are certainly some good moments, particularly when the two leads are given time to riff off each other. Ms. Poehler, in particular, is given a wide berth (pun intended). Ms. Fey however, so winning on the small screen, is put to the test here. As the consummate straight-woman, her range (and the script) is too limited to inject any real depth into the material. "Mama" treats the sensitivity of its topic with kid gloves - it's missing Ms. Fey's deft comic hand (the one that has made "30 Rock", against all odds, one of the best comedy on television). Even 1987's similarly-themed Diane Keaton vehicle "Baby Boom" held more weight. Even without a gestation specialist.

Like I said before Michael McCullers made the comedy here far too broad and predictable, robbing the talented actors of anything with which to play. I don't know if someone at Saturday Night Live had a surrogate, but that idea certainly was kicking around the set. I would recommended this film only if you have a few lazy days put aside.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 13, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
Another reviewer notes this is a very average comedy and I whole-heartedly agree with that sentiment. Yet again, I find that Lorne Michaels and the SNL crew just can't seem to deliver good, solid, entertainment. (If you've seen my scathing review of Hot Rod, which apparently offended more than a few readers, you'd know I'm not terribly impressed with the creative team at SNL...)

Let me say that this isn't a bad film, certainly no where near as bad as the pretty weak Hot Rod, but it was no where near as funny as it could have been, or as other films with similar stories have been in the past. For example, my wife loves the movie Paternity, and as something similar, I'd definitely rate it much more solidly above Baby Mama.

The concept is solid enough, and Amy Poehler gets in some funny lines and brazen behavior that is amusing, but the results in the final product seem, well, quite average. The story is predictable and even with distractions like Steve Martin's performance where he seems to be channeling some of the J. Peterman character from Seinfeld, the laughs just don't come as freely as they should.

I put this one into the 'rent it' category for sure. Go in with low expectations and you shouldn't be disappointed, but if you expect too much, you'll probably be left unfulfilled.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
Light comedy here. Good enough for a Friday or Saturday night at home. If you are a fan of Tina and Amy like I am, you know what you are getting into. If not, buy this movie and see for yourself. You will be hooked on this comedic tag team. The Blu Ray looks great. Sound is just OK. But the picture is amazing. Nice work by Universal here on a good disk. VERY FUNNY MOVIE. Buy it today
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2008
Format: DVD
Whether it's her surprisingly refreshing take on a novel about modern day teenagers (Mean Girls) or snarky one-liners about today's news (SNL's Weekend Update), Tina Fey has become known for delivering on-screen the dialogue she previously wrote behind the scenes. Paired up with her Update partner in crime, Amy Poehler, and the two should be unstoppable because as quippy with just a touch of absurdity, Fey's writing somehow always manages to be both relevant and laugh out-loud funny. Unfortunately her turn as a perpetually single career woman desperate for a child of her own in Michael McCullers' Baby Mama is neither of those things. Perhaps Fey just wanted to prove she could relinquish some control with Baby Mama, or perhaps her real life baby kept her from wearing too many hats on this project, but in either case, the lackluster result cries out for her attention like any newborn.

Fans of Fey and Poehler from their SNL days, or even more recent projects like 30 Rock and Hamlet 2 respectively, will want to give Baby Mama a shot just to see their girls back on-screen as a duo. But fans who expect anything more than a warm smile or a meek chuckle will be sorely disappointed. Baby Mama is a female buddy comedy written by a man and within the studio system, which may explain why Fey and Poehler's natural chemistry gets buried by stereotypical Felix and Oscar gags. When Fey's Kate learns she has a one in a million chance of getting pregnant, she looks for a surrogate, and despite her anal retentively immaculate apartment and Ivy league-esque persona, she still hires the free-spirited, messy, tells-it-like-it-is Angie (Poehler). The two embark on a friendship of opposites that would never have taken place but for the check that was being passed between the two, and sadly that fact never lingers too far from the audience's minds, making the union feel that much more forced. Had the two women found they actually had more in common once they got to know each other, the story wouldn't have been saved, but it would have been better. Instead, though, McCullers forces lessons down the audience's throats: how the women learn from each other--one to calm down and one to grow up--and in the process, they learn how to be mothers. Too sappy to truly be real, and if there's any question about that, just wait for the end when once again the Hollywood ending breaks through any cynicism to prove the impossible can happen... in the movies.

Oddly, McCullers' men aren't any more believable than his women in Baby Mama. Each one (from Greg Kinnear to Dax Shepard, and even Steve Martin) is hapless in his own way, and while goofiness can be cute in doses, these are men who are as immature as children. Instead of building up the characters, McCullers seems to rely on the timeliness of his film, incorporating countless pop culture references (Jamba Juice; American Idol karaoke) that are so oversaturated, they feel more like product placement than just typical elements of everyday life. It appears Baby Mama tries to pick up where Mean Girls left off: a witty, slice of life, character connection film, but like the aging party girl that Kate appears when Angie drags her out to a club, it just appears tired, overcompensating, and out of place among the actually hip crowd.

The bonus features on the DVD release include an audio commentary with McCullers, his two stars, and Executive Producer Lorne Michaels, who can't get a word in edgewise between Fey and Poehler's wisecracks (they sounds oddly pent-up, as if they wanted to release all that funny on-set but were restrained) and the director's incessant need to pipe in with technical knowledge (as if to prove he really does know what he's doing). There are also the obligatory deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and a making-of featurette ("From Conception to Delivery") that once again proves the stars' knack for comedy was wasted in the feature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 22, 2010
Format: DVD
Given that stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are both very talented, one might expect that Baby Mama (2008) would be funnier, and more entertaining than it is. There are some laughs, but no really big ones, in what is a moderately entertaining, tasteful, comedy with a warm romantic element, mainly due to Fey, and an understated and believable performance by Greg Kinnear.

Kate Holbrook (Fey) is thirty seven, lives in Philadelphia, and because her T shaped uterus is apparently an impediment to being able to conceive a child, she turns to a fertility clinic run by Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver), to find a surrogate mother. Prospective mother Angie Ostrowski (Poehler) agrees to carry Kate's child, and after being artificially inseminated, apparently becomes pregnant. Angie moves into Kate's apartment after splitting up with her common law husband Carl Loomis (Dax Shepard). Rob Ackerman (Kinnear) the owner of a fruit smoothie establishment, begins a relationship with Kate, who keeps the surrogacy matter a secret, while she continues attending pregnancy classes with Angie. Deception becomes the name of the game, as the scam Angie and Carl are running, becomes a court case. Then it's baby time, as things end up happily ever after.

Written and directed by Michael McCullers (SNL), the screenplay seemingly targeted at women thirty and over, is smart, and mostly plays it safe, without getting too daring, edgy or vulgar. The "girls night out" scene, is about as wild as it gets. Produced by Lorne Michaels, the film is nothing like either SNL or Fey's 30 Rock. Poehler and Fey are both great at what they do, and are great together. There are some slightly weird characters, but only Kate's boss Barry, played by Steve Martin, even rises to the level of being slightly annoying. Romany Malco is quite amusing as Oscar, the overly concerned doorman at Kate's building. Maura Tierney (ER), and Holland Taylor (Two And a Half Men) are also in the cast.

Baby Mama isn't a laugh riot, but watching Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play off of each other is a good time, and there's just enough of the charming Mr. Kinnear to provide a nice romantic spark. The film should strike an appropriate and humorously resonate note, with its intended audience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2008
I went to see this movie last night and I am waiting for it to come out on dvd. I am telling everyone I know how funny it is. I have never laughed SO hard in my life. I had tears streaming down my face and my cheeks hurt from laughing. I think it's a great movie and I plan to purchase it as soon as it's released.
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