Baby Mama

 
SNL gals deliver hilarious comedy for teens+.
  • Review Date: April 23, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

All of the characters are flawed, though most of them have good intentions at heart. Kate frequently comes across as judgmental and a little bit snobby, while Angie's irresponsible "white trash" background is played up for laughs -- though, to the movie's credit, she has more depth than similar characters in other films. Characters deceive each other, attempt blackmail, and more. A subplot involves a big corporation coming into a small neighborhood and possibly hurting local business. New age philosophies are mocked (mostly gently). All but one of the central cast members are Caucasian.

Violence

Two women hurl insults at each other during a massive screaming argument. A little bit of slapstick physical comedy.

Sex

No nudity, and not much beyond kissing is shown. But there are some crass references to baby-making, including a shot in which Poehler's character spreads her legs for artificial insemination. Words like "horny" are used. A couple spends the night together after a first date.

Language

Language includes "damn," "a--hole," a handful of "s--t"s, and one "effin" as a stand-in for "f--k." Some name-calling.

Consumerism

Product placements galore, including Luna Bars, Dr. Pepper, Tastykakes, Red Bull, Forbes Life, baby books, video games, and Jamba Juice. Kate works for a Whole Foods-like company called Round Earth.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking -- including one scene in which a woman who's purportedly pregnant sneaks a few swigs of hard liquor at a nightclub. Several jokes about recreational drug use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this comedy is both irreverent and candid in dealing with the topics of infertility, pregnancy, and surrogacy (none of which are probably at the top of teens' "funny subjects" list, so there's a chance they won't be interested, despite the presence of Saturday Night Live veterans Tina Fey and Amy Poehler). Characters make fun of a woman's inability to get pregnant, and one treats pregnancy as a big pain. There's some "white trash" stereotyping involved with Poehler's character, but Angie ultimately proves to be a decent soul. Expect some drinking, references to drug use, and a fair amount of swearing (nothing stronger than "s--t") and product placement mixed in with the plentiful laughs.

What's the story?

BABY MAMA is writer-director Michael McCullers' riotous film about Kate (Tina Fey), a high-powered natural food store exec who can't get pregnant. She's tried everything, including in-vitro fertilization, but her T-shaped uterus is supposedly inhospitable to babies. (One doctor tells her point-blank, "I just don't like your uterus.") So Kate opts for surrogacy, signing up with an elite agency that matches her with spunky Angie (Amy Poehler). Angie's rough around the edges -- she hops on a sink to relieve herself when a childproofed toilet proves too challenging to negotiate -- but she means well, for the most part. One hilarious insemination process later, they're in the mommy business. Or are they?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fey and Poehler are a fabulous team -- so fun and funny to watch. Refreshingly un-saccharine even when they participate in the obligatory female bonding moment (playing a karaoke video game, no less), they take a good-enough plot and infuse it with their subversive though still-pleasant humor (they've been working together beautifully for years, and it shows). Fey in particular is ever more able, proving herself to be a comedic genius.

Add Greg Kinnear (more appealing than ever as Kate's from-left field love interest) and Dax Shepard (Angie's clueless-but-comical commonlaw husband) to season the mix. Then, top it off with Steve Martin as the self-aggrandizing, name-dropping, ponytailed tree-hugging CEO of Kate's company ("I am a great man, and great men do great things," he intones) and Sigourney Weaver as the blithely insensitive surrogacy-center owner -- who's compelled to boast about her own body's amazing ability to get pregnant despite being in her 50s -- and you have a winner. There's even some insight into the class wars as they play out in the organic foods-versus-junk food realm, as well as a dash of real poignancy in how much Kate craves a baby. So what if it's predictable? Bottom line: Brilliant? No. But laugh-out-loud funny? Definitely.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about who this movie's target audience is. Is it teens? Older women with children? How can you tell? How is the movie different from most comedies aimed at women? Families can also discuss surrogacy. Why does it seem like such a controversial subject? How were the filmmakers able to mine it for humor? Also, do you think the movie is making any specific points about the "class war"? What do Kate and Angie have in common? How are they different?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 23, 2008
DVD release date:September 8, 2008
Cast:Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Tina Fey
Director:Michael McCullers
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:crude and sexual humor, language and a drug reference.

This review of Baby Mama was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old April 3, 2010
age 15+
 

Not Good At All.

Baby Mama is really innapropriate. It has very bad role models, and the whole idea of the movie is absurd. Commonsense was very innacurate with what they reviewed. It was not funny, it had a large amount of language, and the se* was terrible, and the characters always reffered back to it every scene. Baby Mama was not for kids, and my parents hardly laughed at all. Baby Mama is good for kids maybe 15 and up.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bythecooldude1 March 18, 2011
age 14+
 
its good but for mature teens
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bysqwirty101 January 3, 2009
age 12+
 

funny

this is a hilarious movie about a woman who has a T shaped uterus and cannot have a baby. she hires someone to have it for her. kate (the one with the T shaped uterus) teaches the woman who has the baby for her to be a mother.

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