Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 18
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

WOULD I LIE TO YOU?: The head of Philadelphia’s most reputable surrogate mother service, Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver, center), is introducing the wannabe mother Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey, left) to Angie Ostrowski (Amy Poehler), who Chaffee is assuring Kate is the ideal, happily married, healthy, and clean living woman who is eager to become Kate’s surrogate mother.

Baby Mama: Barren Businesswoman Seeks Services of Surrogate Mom

Kam Williams

Despite her rise through the ranks to become Vice President of Development at Round Earth, a growing chain of organic supermarkets, Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) doesn’t feel that her life is fulfilled. It’s apparent that the 37 year-old workaholic’s successful career has come at a considerable personal cost.

She now hears her biological clock ticking and is desperate to start a family, even though she doesn’t have a man in her life. On top of that, she’s just learned from her gynecologist that she only has a one-in-a-million chance of becoming pregnant.

Afraid that she might never have a child, Kate decides to enlist the assistance of Chaffee Bicknell (Sigourney Weaver), the owner of Philadelphia’s most reputable surrogate mother service. After receiving adequate assurances that the agency has the perfect candidate lined up, she pays the $100,000 fee to have her fertilized eggs implanted in the womb of Angie Ostrowiski (Amy Poehler).

When she learns that her surrogate is pregnant, Kate starts preparing for the impending arrival of her baby by reading all the right childcare books and baby-proofing her apartment. When Angie shows up unannounced at her door and says that she needs a place to live, Kate is about to meet the real Angie.

It turns out that Angie is not married but has just broken up with her boyfriend, Carl (Dax Shepard). Kate lets Angie move in and, a little too late, begins to discover the truth about the woman who is carrying her infant.

The ensuing yuppie-meets-blue-collar tensions which arise provide the entertainment in Baby Mama, a comedy that is the directorial debut of Michael McCullers. The film depicts the clash between the characters’ life styles portrayed by Saturday Night Live’s Amy Poehler and the show’s former star and head writer Tina Fey.

Amy Poehler’s portrayal of Angie is an unconvincing example of art imitating life, and so Baby Mama is a film without any real drama.

Fortunately, this deficiency is offset by several inspired performances from a stellar supporting cast which includes Steve Martin as Barry, Kate’s aging hippie boss; Greg Kinnear as her love interest; Romany Malco as her affable doorman; and Maura Tierney, as her concerned sister. Still, about the best that can be said for this formulaic instantly forgettable movie is that it’s above average for a SNL alumnae vehicle.

Very Good (2.5 stars). Rated PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, crude humor, and a drug reference. Running time: 99 minutes. Studio: Universal Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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