Baby Mama: Does it Deliver?
*Warning, spoilers ahead.*
Tina Fey knows where it’s at. An award winning TV writer and comedian, she’s also the mom of a 2-year-old. So when my gal pal and fellow Fey fan Gayle and I to see Baby Mama on its opening weekend, we had very high hopes that the movie would make us – moms with six kids between us -- laugh out loud.
Alas, we were not disappointed.
Walking into the movie, though, I thought the premise was a little iffy: A single, successful, career-oriented woman, 37, decides she wants to have a baby. She goes through countless infertility treatments (inseminations, in vitro fertilization) only to be told by her ob/gyn that she has a “one and a million chance” of ever conceiving a baby. After learning that the adoption process could take up to five years and that it’s challenging for a single woman to adopt a baby, Fey’s character, Kate Holbrook, decides to go the gestational surrogacy route, hiring Amy Poehler’s working class gal and prodigious gum-chewer Angie Ostrowiski to carry her baby.
Despite Baby Mama’s funny trailers, I was leery about whether those who pursue infertility treatments would be mocked and whether there’d be a you-waited-too-long-you-selfish-narcissistic-career-gal-you thread weaving its way through the story. However I’m pleased to report, those things never happen. If anything, Baby Mama seems to use Fey’s character’s age, as well as her career success and financial security as a plus, not a minus. Nowhere did I see Kate lambasted for her life choices, which is a refreshing change.
So, with those concerns out of the way, I know you’re waiting to find out the answer to the key question: Is it funny? I thought so. Even though the “30 Rock” star didn’t create this movie (she writes, produces and stars in her TV show), there are many scenes which spoof contemporary parenting and uptight, safety mania so well that I was surprised to learn that she didn’t write the script.
Here’s a sampling of a few funny bits:
Fey’s Kate’s a bit of a neat freak. Combine that with a hedonistic, grind-your-potato-chips-into-the-rug mentality of Poehler’s surrogate mom character Angie -- who sticks wads of gum under Kate’s coffee table -- and hilarity ensues. The two are at comic odds . . . frequently . . . particularly when the anal retentive Kate has her entire condo professionally baby-proofed (yes, professionally baby-proofed) when Angie is only in her first trimester. And Angie can’t figure out how to open the toilet lock. (I myself harbor a special hatred for those contraptions.)