I got out to see “Baby Mama” with my wife, daughters and son this weekend, and came away with these impressions:
1. This is most definitely a chick flick! The girls were giggling and occasionally laughing as if on a laugh track, while we boys struggled to enjoy girly gags and were thankful that Steve Martin brought some guy-style comic relief to the show.
2. This is most definitely a nice coming out party for SNL actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. “Baby Mama” is pretty predicable through most of the first half of it, but a few nice plot turns give them both the chance to play characters and not just caricatures.
3. This is most definitely one of biggest wastes of an opportunity to deal with spiritual issues in a film obviously designed for adolescent girls and young women!
Rarely does a theme have a chance to get more to the spiritual core than the creation of life and the God-given instincts of moms, moms-to-be, and potential-moms-who-wanna-be-moms.
There are neither prayers nor references to God nor substantial discussions of the spiritual responsibilities involved in the creation of life, at least none that made an impression on me.
There are some nice moments and even some inspiration that can be taken from some of the choices the characters make given their plot circumstances that go beyond the film’s trailer, but the movie does more to say “we can handle it ourselves” than “we need faith in something beyond ourselves to handle choices regarding the stewardship of life.” This was the kind of missed opportunity that Hollywood should learn from and take more seriously.
“Baby Mama” was the highest grossing film of the weekend, and it may do well in the coming weeks, but its lack of a real message will hurt it in the long run. One of these days, Hollywood will figure out that movies which offer real inspiration will out-perform safe comedy flicks almost every time. And, they’ll contribute more to our culture as well.