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January 00, 2007
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Baby Mama just what’s expected

SNL alumni Tina Fey and Amy Poehler attend birthing class in Baby Mama.

Tina Fey receives positive energy from wild-and-crazy guy Steve Martin in Baby Mama.

You know that awkward moment when a friend shows you snapshots of the ugliest baby you’ve ever seen, and you feel compelled to lie and say it is the most beautiful baby in the world. All babies are cute in some manner, but you’re mumbling under your breath about the Dumbo ears. The movie Baby Mama brings that feeling to mind.

Written and directed by Saturday Night Live’s Michael McCullers, same person to bring Austin Powers to life, the movie stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, both SNL alumni.

The films centers around Kate Holbrook (Fey) a 37-year-old single executive with a grandfather of a biological clock. Kate is determined to have a baby whatever the cost or procedure. After failed insemination attempts, she learns her chances of pregnancy are “one in a million.” Kate then enlists the help of Chaffee Bicknell played by Sigourney Weaver.

The very fertile Bicknell runs an agency for would-be mothers seeking a surrogate. Through the agency, Kate hires Angie Ostrowski (Poehler) for $100,000 as the basket for her eggs. Angie is called a working class girl, though some characters label her “trashy.”

The plot is complicated when Angie shows up on Kate’s doorstep after leaving her common-law husband, Carl, played by Dax Sheppard of Idiocracy. Angie is messy and loves America’s Funniest Home Videos, while Kate works to ensure coasters are used for Angie’s Slurpy.

The movie outlines the relationship between structured Kate and flamboyant Angie. Kate tries to turn Angie into the perfect expectant mother through nutrition and behavior. It is a battle of personalities and Red Bull versus organic pea soup.

Kate’s line, “What you eat, the baby eats. What you listen to, the baby listens to,” sums it up well. Between baby-proofing the house and reading multiple pregnancy manuals, Kate is determined her baby will be a healthy Einstein despite Angie’s love of Dr. Pepper.

The movie is cute, but very predictable. The SNL influence shines through with moments like a stroller with airbags and a pregnancy coach with a very distinct speech impediment.

Fey and Poehler play well off each other, as expected, though Kate’s character does not showcase Fey’s comedic ability.

Poehler’s performance carries the movie with the help of Romany Maloco as the doorman Oscar and Steve Martin as Barry, Kate’s boss. The three provide all the comic relief in the film.

Oscar’s one-liners are especially well-timed throughout, drawing on his experience with his two “baby mamas.”

The movie is punctuated by one-liners from all characters, and frequently enough to entertain the audience all the way through to the inevitable heartwarming ending.

This film comes with one warning: ladies, this is not a date movie. The great show of feminine meets determination with humor is perfect for a girls’ night out. Your date, however, will lost after the first description of Kate’s t-shaped uterus which takes place in the first twenty minutes.

Baby Mama is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and a drug reference. It is currently showing at Regal Cinema in Boone.

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