Movie Review:
No laughs in ‘Baby Mama’
Posted May 2, 2008

Erin Konrad
Arts Editor

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are both extremely funny comediennes. However, their new film “Baby Mama” completely wastes their talents.
The premise seems humorous enough, but there are rarely any laughs. The many stars that have cameos also just make the movie seem contrived.

It is a shame that the “Saturday Night Live” duo can’t fashion this comedy into a hit, but neither Fey nor Poehler can deliver enough charm to save this stale script.

The film did gross $18 million its opening weekend, making it the No. 1 movie at the box office, but it faced little competition and audiences were expecting something better from this cast.

The movie is based around Fey’s character, Kate Holbrook, who wants desperately to have a child.

At 37, she decides that she can’t wait forever to find a husband, and she has spent her life devoted to her job.

She discovers her inability to have a baby, and after exhausting all other options decides on the new trend of having a surrogate mother to help her obtain the family she desires so much.

In enters Poehler’s character, Angie, who is a white trash girl offering to carry Kate’s baby (mostly the audience assumes for the money attached.)

Their two worlds collide as businesswoman Kate tries to connect with low-class Angie (whose idea of proper pregnancy food includes Tasty Cakes and Dr. Pepper.)

Besides the leads, there are way too many stars in this film that have undeveloped parts.

Holland Taylor (“Two and a Half Men”) has a minor role as Kate’s mother and Maura Tierney (“ER”) appears as her sister.

A slew of “SNL” cast members appear in support: Will Forte, Fred Armisen and Steve Martin.

But their characters have few lines and they make the audience wonder why they’re even in the movie.

Martin stars as an over-the-top executive, Barry, who works with Kate.
His onscreen moments are not clever and seem forced.

He leaves the audience wondering why a veteran comedian like Martin would have taken this poorly written part.

The most disappointing aspect of the film is that all of the funny lines were already on the previews.

This leaves the audience waiting for more jokes that just don’t come.

Fey is a great writer who turns out quality television every week on NBC’s “30 Rock.”

She was also the first woman head writer for “SNL,” so expectations were high for this film.

However, the director and writer of “Baby Mama,” Michael McCullers, should have taken a page from Fey’s style and added more intelligence and less potty humor.

Dax Sheppard and Greg Kinnear also appear as love interests for Poehler and Fey, but their characters have been written so one-dimensionally that it’s hard to care why they’re in the movie at all.

Romany Malco stars as Kate’s doorman, Oscar, but the “Weeds” actor seems more like the token black guy needed for the movie than a true character.

This movie had potential to be hilarious with these very funny women. Instead the audience barely cracks a smile.

Erin Konrad can be reached at ekonrad@ulv.edu.

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