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8th December
2008
written by Steph
Straight up, I had no interest in seeing this movie until a friend of mine mentioned in passing that I should see it because she had really enjoyed it. And this is a friend who knows what my tastes are and whose tastes in turn I also know, so I figured that if she liked it then the least I could do was give it a spot on the Netflix queue. The commercials I had remembered seeing made the humor seem like it was kind of “lowest common denominator” in its scope, but we like 30 Rock, so we gave it a shot. The basic plot of the film is that Tina Fey (who is essentially playing a big screen Liz Lemon, even though I think her character’s name was actually Kate) is a woman of a certain age who has come to the realization that she has sacrificed personal happiness in order to be professionally successful. She wants to have a baby, but when she finds that nearly all avenues of procuring one are effectively dead ends, she decides to go the way of surrogacy, in which she pays Amy Poehler’s character to carry one of her ova to term. There was one twist somewhat early on in the film regarding Poehler’s character that I wasn’t expecting, but other than that it follows a pretty linear trajectory that contains few surprises and sadly, few laughs (full disclaimer: I was sick when we watched this, so maybe the movie is funnier when your immune system isn’t busy upping your white blood cell count). Maybe it’s just that given Fey’s recent increase in popularity, I was expecting more. It’s not that funny things don’t happen throughout the movie, or that there aren’t a few good zingers, it’s just it was all very predictable in both humor and plot for the most part. In the end, this was far less intelligent than 30 Rock, or hell, even Mean Girls (which I really love, and champion as being a clever and smart film), both of which have Fey as their main writing force and visionary. I think she stumbled here and underwhelmed, as ultimately Baby Mama is a cookie cutter disposable film. Overall, this was neither as bad as the commercials had led me to believe, nor as good as my friend had led me to believe either. Rating: 3 out of 5

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