It’s about time the “SNL” funny-femme duo, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, took their act to the big screen. Micheal McCullers, screen writer of “Austin Powers”, directed these two leading ladies in the new film, “Baby Mama”, which exploits the heartache of infertility and the determination Kate (Tina Fey) has in having a child through Angie (Poehler), her chosen surrogate mother.
The film’s texture is of a gentle and ironically relevant variation, avoiding crude humor and flirting with the boundaries of social satire. Hilarity is offered in the performances of Steve Martin, playing the role of Kate’s boss who is an obnoxiously wealthy man that awards his employees with “five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact.” Dax Shepard, most known for his appearances on “Punk’d”, also complemented the quirky tone of the film in his performance as the surrogate mother’s common-law husband.
In spite of the fact that Poehler and Fey make an exceptional duo with their electric chemistry, they somehow avoid turning “Baby Mama” into a “chick flick.” This may come as a surprise to most, given the ultra-feminine topic is the infertility of an aging, single woman. Yet, among the audience, one can witness old men and young women, alike, laughing at the film’s clever one-liners.
However, one-liners are not by any means the heart of the film and for anyone experiencing infertility, the intelligently ambiguous social commentary on surrogacy can be recognized in different scenes.
In a scene with Kate and her Surrogacy Clinic’s owner, there is a strong hint of disapproval towards outsourcing surrogacy to underpaid women of Third- World countries. Of course spun into a clever tease, the average audience member might disregard the humor or not fully understand its socioeconomic value.
The softer side of the film prevails as the audience witnesses the warm and fuzzy, half-desperate, regretful disposition of Kate who had dedicated her life to her work until realizing she was running out of time on her biological clock. The warmth in her character counteracts Angie’s insolently immoral conduct to provide a harmonious balance that carries the movie to its “happily ever after”, yet entirely unanticipated, end.
As a date movie, “Baby Mama”serves up an innocent romance between Kate and Rob, played by Greg Kinnear, a smoothie shop owner perpetually plagued with threats by the evil corporate “Jamba Juice.”
The sweet quirkiness between the two is enough to suffice for the more established pair in the audience. However, for a first date any movie dealing with pregnancy is bound to scare one’s potential better half off.
The entirely refreshing aspect of “Baby Mama” was its ability to expose the cold reality of many motivated women today in a simple yet comically ironic way. While Kate is extremely proud of herself for conquering promotion after promotion in a male-dominated business, she has inadvertently failed as a woman to reproduce.
After fruitless years of trying with the help of a fertility clinic, Kate feels disheartened and hopeless. The status of women today is defined by their ability to do all.
The full time mother and employee is no easy feat, and in most scenarios mothers will sacrifice their occupational goals for their children. The alternative consequence is far more devastating, rendering women doomed to face some feeling of failure.
“Baby Mama” may not necessarily intrigue the average college student but certainly satiates any current “SNL” fan. Using parodies drawn from recent “SNL” skits, “Baby Mama” manages to convert slapstick short-bit comedy into a well-paced, sentimental, and contrastingly hilarious film. For anyone who finds themselves rolling with laughter when witnessing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler during “SNL’s” “Weekend Update”, “Baby Mama” is waiting for your appreciation.
Abigail Dredge is a third-year student at West Chester University majoring in English. She can be reached at AD615398@wcupa.edu.