Baby Mama

I should probably begin this review by saying that I love Tina Fey. Surely, more than any other woman I can think of, she defines that most wonderful of archetypes – the geeky-yet-sexy girl. Her work on TV series 30 Rock and previous big screen outing Mean Girls is wonderfully refreshing and always hilarious. Unlike both of those however, Baby Mama is not written by Fey, so does Baby Mama measure up to work from Fey’s own pen?

Well, the short answer is yes. Baby Mama is the story of Kate Holbrook (Fey) – a successful executive with an organic foods company who has reached the point in her life where every hormone in her body is making her desperately want a baby, except she discovers that she can’t conceive (as her gynaecologist puts it “I don’t like your uterus.”). So she turns to Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver, in top form here) who runs a surrogacy agency, putting would-be parents in touch with people willing to carry their child. Enter Amy Poehler as Angie, a white-trash girl who lives with her moron boyfriend, Carl.

All goes well until Angie shows up on Kate’s doorstep, having left Carl, so she moves in with Kate. What follows for the next while is the classic old-couple routine, but with some genuinely hilarious gags which saves the sequence from feeling stale or tired. Also introduced is Kate’s romantic interest Rob (Greg Kinnear), who runs a juice bar. I’ve always liked Greg Kinnear, and I think he does a good job here, providing development for Kate, without ever making the film about them or their relationship, because this film is all about the relationship between Kate and Angie, and how a respect and bond emerges between them.

There’s also a fairly big twist in the movie about halfway in, which I won’t spoil here, but it was a complication to the plot I wasn’t expecting, but it serves to enhance the film and the journey the characters make, so that’s always a good thing. Also falling into the “good thing” category is Steve Martin’s turn as Kate’s boss Barry, a new age hippy type who asks Kate to join him, bowlegged on his desk (despite the fact she’s in a skirt) and to make his new store “exactly like” a small seashell.

Baby Mama is a very funny film (with perhaps some jokes that appeal far more to women than men – the women around me in the cinema were in tears of laughter at lines that simply went over my head, but then again, they were about menstrual cycles, so go figure) that provides both Fey and Poehler the perfect stage to showcase their talents. With one of the funniest women in Hollywood, some great writing and a strong supporting cast, it’s got a lot going for it, making it one of best comedies this year. B+.

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