Tina Fey is easily one of Hollywood’s best talents. She has the ability to write, act, produce, sing, and everything in between. Her sitcom, 30 Rock, is one of the most well written television series of all time. So why, then, does Baby Mama not feel quite as funny as what Tina Fey fans are used to?
For all intents and purposes, Baby Mama is well acted. As previously stated, Tina Fey is one of the best Hollywood has to offer. She has little trouble being funny, while also showing a surprising capability for dramatic situations.
Greg Kinnear is also excellent as Fey’s love interest. A rare underrated actor, Kinnear does not need to try to be funny, instead allowing the situation to be humorous and acting like a normal person would. Few actors try for the understated performance, especially in comedies, but Kinnear is an expert at his craft.
Where Baby Mama starts to rip at the seam is with supporting characters. Aside from Fey and Kinnear’s characters, everyone else is displayed as a caricature. Dax Shepard is a typical white trash dirt bag, Steve Martin is a sort-of-creepy new age business mogul, Sigourney Weaver is a perpetually pregnant fertility counselor. It all comes across as something that was meant to be funny, which makes the joke disappear in the process.
Amy Poehler’s character is another that falls prey to this, but rises above the rest because more screen time is devoted to her character. When first introduced, the character is no more than a odd couple counterpart to Fey’s clean-cut businesswoman. It feels like retracing old steps as Poehler teaches Fey to lighten up while Fey teaches Poehler responsibility. Luckily, by the end you actually do start to see a real character in Poehler’s performance by the end, helped in large part due to Fey and Poehler’s impeccable chemistry together.
Baby Mama does not create anything new or original, but does succeed in what in promises. Thanks to expert performances from its key cast the emotion at the heart of the film gets through and some moments, while not laugh-at-loud funny will make you chuckle. Fans of both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will appreciate it, but hope will be help that a better quality collaboration will happen in the future.