Review: Half-baked 'Babymakers' comes up negative
"The Babymakers" is the kind of comedy that makes you appreciate Judd Apatow all the more.
This is what happens when emotion and character are sacrificed for jokes, when set pieces are preferred over narrative, when a movie is just a collection of so-so gags.
"The Babymakers" isn't exactly an official Broken Lizard comedy ("Super Troopers," "Beerfest"), but it bears the comedy troupe's hallmarks of goofy gratuity and good-natured slapstick. It's directed by the group's Jay Chadrasekhar (he also appears as a former Indian mobster) and features a number of its members, most notably Kevin Hefffernan.
But the film's stars are from far outside the Broken Lizard sphere. Playing a married couple trying, and failing, to have a child are Paul Schneider ("All the Real Girls," "Bright Star") and Olivia Munn (the "Daily Show" correspondent and supporting playing on HBO's "The Newsroom").
Both are curious leads for a broad comedy — Schneider because he has definite acting chops (his performance in "All the Real Girls" is a rare combination tender and funny), and Munn because she's almost distractingly stunning.
They have decent chemistry, though, as a couple bonded by a shared, casual lewdness. Their conversation about having a kid begins as a mock discussion about anal sex. That theoretically shocking tone is maintained throughout "Babymakers," which would prefer to treat childbearing with less sanctity and more semen jokes.
It's a welcome attitude in an age of hyper-conscious parenting, but "Babymakers" is doomed by its lack of heart. It opens — curiously, because the film is about the difficulties of impregnation — with the couple, Tommy and Audrey, woken by a crying baby in the next room. Audrey tells him it's his turn, to which Tommy reluctantly rises, shuts the door, mutters "goddamn baby" and returns to bed.
The tone is set: These are glib, selfish people and little that follows suggests they should be parents, or have any real interest in being them.
Instead, "Babymakers" is an increasingly incredulously plotted series of embarrassments about the wounded masculinity of a low sperm count. Ensuing misunderstandings nearly drive Audrey and Tommy apart and push Tommy to an ill-conceived sperm bank heist.
Schneider, who also starred for a time on NBC's "Parks & Recreation," has an easy Southern charm that can be natural or rakish, but few have known what do with him beside his longtime friend David Gordon Green, who directed "All the Real Girls." He nearly singlehandedly gives "Babymakers" a little substance — if only the script, by Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow, allowed for a little besides the easy gag.
"The Babymakers," a Millennium Entertainment release, is rated R for crude and sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use. Running time: 95 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.
Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:
G — General audiences. All ages admitted.
PG — Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.
PG-13 — Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
R — Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
NC-17 — No one 17 and under admitted.
From Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba, see the worst celeb sunburns.Watch Video »
Check out some of Gwyneth Paltrow's craziest quotes.Watch Video »
Florence Welch, Zoe Saldana, and Ali Larter all get an F on this week's Fashion OffendersWatch Video »
From the Olsens to the Mowrys, see some of Hollywood's most famous twins.Watch Video »
Check out Hollywood's hottest bikini bods on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima talks about the What's Sexy list, her model friends and more with Wonderwall.Watch Video »
- Who Am I?Check out how Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and more stars of "Fast & Furious 6" looked when they were in high school.Watch Video »
- LovebirdsFind out what Jessica Alba and Cash Warren tweeted to each other on their fifth wedding anniversary on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Worst LooksCheck out some of Rihanna's worst wardrobe choices on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- What's Sexy?Heidi Klum hangs with two comedy legends and shares what she finds most sexy in a man on today's Celebs Gone Social ...Watch Video »
- Sexy SecretsVictoria's Secret model Adriana Lima talks about the What's Sexy list, her model friends and more with Wonderwall.Watch Video »
- American TravelsGet the Prince's travel details on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
- Birthday GirlTori Spelling turns 40, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Fashion OffendersFlorence Welch, Zoe Saldana, and Ali Larter all get an F on this week's Fashion OffendersWatch Video »
- Bikini BurnsFrom Kim Kardashian to Jessica Alba, see the worst celeb sunburns.Watch Video »
- Double TroubleFrom the Olsens to the Mowrys, see some of Hollywood's most famous twins.Watch Video »
- Roasted?Lindsay Lohan refuses to be roasted, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Beach WorkoutsFrom Julianne Hough to Alessandra Ambrosio, see celebs who get their fitness on in the sand.Watch Video »
- Miley's MusicMiley Cyrus mixes music and fashion while ignoring her relationship status, on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
- Royal AdviceSnooki gives Prince Harry some advice, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Country CutiesCheck out the hottest couples in country music.Watch Video »
- Queen's FeastBeyonce had a major feast in Dublin, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
- Bump DebutSelena Gomez breaks some pregnancy news on Twitter on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
- Crazy QuotesCheck out some of Gwyneth Paltrow's craziest quotes.Watch Video »
- Beers With BieberJustin Bieber shares photos of his beer-drinking safari on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
- Missing Miley?Get the scoop on the newest breakup rumors on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
- Visiting U.S.Prince Harry is visiting the United States again, plus more celeb stories on 7 Wonders, hosted by Tim Kash.Watch Video »
From Videos of Wonderwall
From MSN Entertainment
From Crowd Ignite