Baby Mama (2008)

Consider them banged!

This movie review came up as a request, apparently to settle an argument between Cody and a friend of his about whether or not this particular movie was any good.  And I know I can stay nice and unbiased because I have no idea which one liked it and which didn’t, so I cannot sway my opinion to match my friend’s.  And that’s something I would totally do, as you may have seen in my Top Gun review.  Anyways, this movie is Baby Mama, starring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Romany Malco, Signourney Weaver, Maura Tierney, with smaller appearances by Steve Martin, John Hodgman, Will Forte, and Fred Armisen.

Tina Fey plays Kate Holbrook, a woman who has newly become interested in having a baby because she can hear that biological clock ticking … inside her vagina.  She’s apparently unable to have one because of the shape of her uterus, so she goes to see Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver) about having a surrogate.  The surrogate she chooses is Angie Ostrowiski (Amy Poehler), an immature aspiring fashion designer.  Angie becomes preggers and soon has a falling out with her crazy hillbilly boyfriend Carl (Dax Shepard).  Misunderstanding the situation of how a surrogate works, she decides she needs to come live with Kate, who begrudgingly takes her in.  They quickly become the Odd Couple (from what I understand from the 5 minutes of it I watched as my roommate watched the Odd Couple), but also became friends.  Carl buts back in to the situation to confront Angie about getting his half of the money because it turns out they lied and Angie is not actually pregnant.

Here is the moment Cody had been waiting for.  My diagnosis of Baby Mama is: it’s good.  I think it’s very funny at times with a decent story and great performers and is an all around good time.  It’s not the perfect comedy, but I think it’s funny.  Let’s get into my reasoning.

As for the story, it’s solid but perhaps a little bit typical, and perhaps a little more chick flicky than I’d prefer.  It’s roughly the same as Date Night was to me, but better than Date Night.  I thought Date Night was not a funny movie, but had a good couple really funny spots to it.  Similar to Baby Mama in that the story just is what it is, but with a greater percentage of funny.  And it’s to be expected when you put 2 awesome funny people at the helm of the movie.  I’ve been a fan of Poehler a lot longer than of Fey, and though Fey has probably taken the lead with 30 Rock, Poehler got me first with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade.  I love them both and expect a lot of funny from them both.  It did, however, seem like the funnier parts were probably improvised, but that’s also to be expected since both women come from improv backgrounds.  Probably the funniest part in the movie was when Amy Poehler was about to pop out the baby and the things she was doing as they took her down the hospital hall.  Parts were a little unbelievable, mainly the part where the guy runs off when Tina Fey confesses she wants a baby on the first date.  I would give Tina Fey SUCH the baby if she asked.  I’d even stick around and raise the thing if she wanted.  Either way, I’m down.  And the ending was a little too precious for me and involved everyone living happily ever after.  Not enough of a complaint to make me dislike the movie though.

As I indicated in the last paragraph, the performances of the movie are what makes it work.  Another cast with the same story and it may not have worked.  I’ve already confessed my love and desire to produce a baby for both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but there were other parts of the cast worth mentioning.  Dax Shepard stands out with a great comedic performance in this.  He’s completely stupid, so much so that you hope such a person doesn’t exist in real life, but he sure is entertaining to watch.  Almost everything out of his mouth is funny.  This is a quality shared by the doorman of Kate, Romany Malco.  He’s pretty much solid comedy too, but has a few heart-to-heart moments with Amy that are also nice.  I’ve never been a real big fan of Steve Martin, but he’s pretty good in small doses in this movie.  Sigourney Weaver and Greg Kinnear also perform their parts well, but are not heavy on the laughs.

Nothing really negative to say about this movie from me.  It’s a solid comedy with more than a few good laughs in it and a great cast.  The story isn’t mind blowing or anything, but I think it’ll entertain you.  I give this movie “Can I just spray some Pam down there?” out of “Bitch, I don’t know your life!”

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others.  It may help me get better.

Ghost Town (2008)

RedBox, you’ve done it again.  You’ve given me the ability to see movies I didn’t trust enough to see earlier.  I’ve always found that I like Ricky Gervais, but I never trust his movies.  First I was surprised by The Invention of Lying to find that I liked it, then I was not as surprised to find I did not care for either Night at the Museum movies.  This movie is not those movies.  This movie is Ghost Town, starring of course Gervais, Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni, with a little bit from Aasif Mandvi and Kristen Wiig.

Ghost Town is the story of a douche nozzle named Bertram Pincus (Gervais), a dentist, who goes in to a doctor for surgery on his butt, administered by Kristen Wiig.  On his way home he starts seeing people that people can walk through.  People of questionable amounts of life.  People that are ghosts.  Zak Bagans runs in and shoves a digital recorder in their face, but Gervais can hear them sans digital recorders, and see them without the use of full-spectrum cameras.  Gervais is quick to return to Wiig to find that he died a little during his surgery, which has caused him to Haley Joel Osment it up.  The most pushy of the ghosts is recently deceased Greg Kinnear who needs Gervais to help his widow Tea Leoni break up with her boyfriend who only wants her for her money that Kinnear left her.  Gervais, being a more douchey version of myself (someone who does not like other people), develops a bit of a crush on Leoni and decides the best way to get her to dump her boyfriend is to become her boyfriend himself.  The rest of the movie is the quest to make this happen before Bruce Willis shows up.

I’m going to throw out all subtlety here: This movie is great.  It’s equal parts funny and touching, and also something I can find myself relating to because I feel that my loner ways will eventually progress to the levels of Gervais’ in this movie, and this will happen while I work to become a dentist.  I wouldn’t say that this movie is laugh out loud funny in the same vein as previously reviewed Hot Tub Time Machine as that’s not really Gervais’ style.  It’s subtle and witty humor, which I tend to value about as highly as the laugh out loud kind.  I may have mentioned it in another review (I’ve kind of lost track by now), but I one day intend to marry Kristen Wiig, or at least kidnap her and force her to entertain me.  Wiig tends to be the funniest part of any movie she’s in, and she keeps that up here.  The rest of the movie is pretty funny too.  It’s also nice to see Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi showing up in more movies, as I believe the only other one’s I’ve seen him in are Spiderman 3 and The Last Airbender, and I like him too much to think he deserves such a resume.

This movie is more than a simple comedy.  It has a dusting of Rom-Com to it as well.  But it’s also very touching, as aforementioned.  Obviously there’s going to be sadness when there are dead people around, but the big secret of the movie (Spoiler, I suppose) is that the ghosts are not, in fact, stuck around because THEY have unfinished business, but because the people they loved won’t let them go.  So it’s not until Leoni falls for Gervais (or the other way around, not to spoil that) that Kinnear can finally be let go.  And the last scene is just purdy.  Leoni comes to visit Gervais in his dentist office because she has something wrong with her tooth, and the movie ends with Leoni saying “It hurts when I smile” and Gervais saying “I can help you with that”.  That is just damn purdy writing.

This movie has the kind of message I like to see in a movie: That someone uglier and fatter than me with similar personality problems can get better and land them a Tea Leoni.  And as I’m skinnier, prettier, and less emotionally damaged than Gervais in this movie, I should be able to land a younger Tea Leoni, like Leoni from Bad Boys.  Mmmmmmm.  Sorry, I got distracted.  I give this movie “The feel good movie I REALLY needed to see today” out of 13.