'Baby Mama' predictable but funny

Friday, May 2, 2008

"I just don't like your uterus" is never a welcome statement, but it is especially unfortunate when coming from the mouth of a fertility specialist. This was the reality facing Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey), an aspiring mother-to-be, in the comedy "Baby Mama."

After being told she had a one in a million chance of ever getting pregnant, Kate hires Angie Ostrowski (Amy Poehler) -- an abrasive, juvenile woman -- as a surrogate mother. Angie's wild, uneducated attitude quickly puts the slightly uptight Kate on high alert. The tension reaches its threshold when, after leaving her scam-artist husband, Angie moves in with Kate. The "baby mama drama" ensues.

Eventually, the two adjust to each other and form something of a friendship. After a long talk with Kate, Angie faces the realization that it is time for her to start maturing, forcing her to face the lies she has told. Meanwhile, Kate is balancing her career, a new romance and the impending baby. After a few twists and turns, the movie comes to a gentle -- albeit predictable -- end.

While "Baby Mama" is filled with quotable one-liners and a great cast, some painfully awkward moments and a highly expected ending prevent the movie from reaching the tremendous success enjoyed by its predecessors in pregnancy humor, "Juno" and "Knocked Up."

However, Fey and Poehler -- in what may be the best comedic duo since Lucy and Ethel -- bring an undeniable chemistry to an otherwise mediocre movie. The charisma between the two stars goes a long way to prevent "Baby Mama" from seeming juvenile. Fey's understated wit is the perfect anchor to Poehler's outrageous antics. This alone makes watching "Baby Mama" worthwhile.

Two other pluses: Performances by Steve Martin (as a boss who rewards his employees with "five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact") and Romany Malco (as an incessant doorman).

"Baby Mama," despite its predictable storyline, is a lightweight movie worth seeing.

Rheagan Butler is a student at Central High School.

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