"The Babymakers" Needs More Gestation Time

By Matt Prigge
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 1, 2012

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Grade: D+

Much scorn has been heaped on filmmaker David Gordon Green, some of it earned: It takes a lot of chutzpah to start with Terrence Malick homages like George Washington before segueing into the decreasingly enjoyable trilogy of Pineapple Express, Your Highness and the don’t-give-a-fuck Jonah Hill vehicle The Sitter. For whatever it’s worth—and all three have merit—he’s still faring worlds better than his All the Real Girls cohort Paul Schneider. At least Green never found himself miles within distance of The Babymakers, a witless sub-Apatow machine in which Schneider is trying to knock up Olivia Munn, who also deserves better.

Schneider is a good, sometimes excellent actor who was actually funnier in the Keats saga Bright Star—as a pissy poet with a delightfully terrible Scots accent—than on the sitcom Parks and Recreation, on which he’s logged time. He’s either too laid back or too weird to play normal, and it’s no shock to see him flailing about as an alpha male in the type of comedy that thrives on gay jokes, gay panic jokes and their fratty ilk. Like a lot of proudly “anti-PC” humor, the jokes in The Babymakers challenge social mores without actually telling a joke; a line about Neil Patrick Harris’ orientation is about as amusing as Dane Cook’s failed Aurora joke because there’s simply no joke.

The situation does threaten to improve with the mid-film arrival of Jay Chandrasekhar as a hostile Indian ex-mafia type hired by Schenider—whose wad has been uniform blanks—to steal splooge he donated to a sperm bank years ago. That’s not because of Chandrasekhar himself, but because his appearance suddenly inspires a loopier gear, complete with the funniest stolen kidney gag since Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. It’s too little too late, but anything that distracts from another film where the men are noble doofuses and women stern killjoys is welcome. Chandrasekhar also directed The Babymakers, although neither he nor his fellow Broken Lizard troupe members—some of whom fill out the supporting roster—wrote the film, which they can use as an excuse when it’s pointed out that this is somehow even less funny than The Slammin’ Salmon.

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