Plot: What’s it about?
Ah children…depending on your point of view either nature’s little miracle or nature’s little curse. From my personal point of view it’d probably be the latter, but that’s just me. I have nothing against kids, it’s just that I don’t want any of my own but I’ll say without a shadow of a doubt that I’m in the minority. Through the years I’ve learned that women, more so than men, have more of a maternal instinct; that’s to say the physical “need” to reproduce. Most men don’t spend their lives saying “I can’t wait to be a father” whereas it’s rather commonplace for a female to say that (and mean it) from an early age. This, of course, is the central them in “Baby Mama” which reunites old SNL stars Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler. Chemistry is a wonderful thing and if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. The filmmakers had this in mind and the result was a better than average breezy comedy that surprised even me.
Kate (Tina Fey) is the consummate professional. She’s a career woman with a smart head on her shoulders and the drive and determination to succeed. However, she’s now in her late 30s and though she’s got all of the material things (nice place, clothes, car, etc.) she feels that something is missing. She wants a child and with only a few child-bearing years left, her clock is literally ticking. She’s tried to get pregnant via medicinal means but to no avail and her options are now very limited. She visits a clinic of sorts where the proprietor (Sigourney Weaver) assures her that via a surrogate mother, Kate will be a mother. We then meet Angie (AmyPoehler) who can only be described as “white trash” but who has a tendency to become impregnated at the drop of a hat. Kate must now work with Angie to ensure that her child is happy and healthy (Kate works for a nature-based food chain). Add to this that Kate has found a man (Greg Kinnear) to start dating who, you guessed it, has a child of his own. Will Kate get her wish or be resigned to a life without an offspring?
“Baby Mama” wasn’t exactly a bad movie, in fact after watching it I was actually pretty pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. While the title suggests that it’s all about the children, it’s actually more about establishing and maintain relationships with those different from you and understanding other people’s points of view. Fey has a burgeoning film career ahead of her and as one of the more astute writer/actors out there, I’m sure she has plenty more roles to come. As mentioned, the chemistry between her and co-star Poehler is what really makes the movie work and the addition of Greg Kinnear as he “nice guy boyfriend” only adds to the charm. “Baby Mama” was also a surprising success at the box office, so don’t be shocked to see another installment in the near future.
Video: How does it look?
“Baby Mama” is shown in a very good-looking 1.85:1 HD AVC transfer that is as polished and bright as we might expect. I have also noticed a trend for more movies to be presented in a wider scope (2.35:1/2.40:1) than in years past. I suppose this is attributed to the rise in HDTV’s across the world so it’s a bit strange to see the image fill up the entire screen. Colors are very strong and detail level is just as we’d expect from a new to Blu-ray release. I noticed a bit off in the contrast and a few scenes seemed a bit soft, but on the whole it was a nice transfer and one that will please most everyone.
Audio: How does it sound?
I think I speak for everyone when I say that “Baby Mama” will not win any awards in terms of sound, but the DTS Master Audio track does deliver on a few levels. The genre for the movie is essentially “Romantic Comedy” and with that in mind we can assume that the track will be good, but not great. We’d be correct. Dialogue is the prevailing component of this soundtrack but there are some directional effects that add to the overall charm of the track. Then again, I doubt the target audience of this movie will really be paying too much attention to what’s emanating from the rear speakers.
Supplements: What are the extras?
“Baby Mama” has just about the right amount of supplements to warrant a purchase. We start out with a commentary track with writer/director Michael McCullers along with Lorne Michaels (taking his obligatory role to produce movies by ex-SNL cast members), Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The track is pretty good with plenty of laughs to go around. We also get a few featurettes along with some deleted scenes and an alternate ending. Lastly, this features Universal’s U-Control which in this instance gives us a picture-in-picture feature that allows us to view some behind the scenes footage while watching the film. Neat, but a bit redundant if you watched all the featurettes.