of full disclosure, I feel like I should admit that I went to see Baby Mama with Nikki last weekend. She had good reasons for wanting to see it--particularly in terms of wanting to see how the film dealt with race. I had no such critical curiosity. I just went because she suggested it, and it looked sort of funny.
Now, I'm not going to spend a lot of time really "reviewing" this film, but I thought that I would share with you some of the impressions/experiences that accompanied seeing the film.
1. What is truly great is about this film is seeing 2 women who have serious on-screen chemistry and are funny. This is a very, very rare thing. I read a review that suggested that this was a "chick flick" which actually surprised me. I didn't think of it as such when I saw the trailer, although I can understand that categorization now that I've seen the film. That said, I think that it does Fey/Poehler a disservice as a comedy team because I'm pretty sure that they can make dudes laugh. And everyone (guys and lesbians alike) seems to understand that Tina Fey has that smart/sexy thing going on. (Like someone I know who occasionally reads this blog, so I will not call her out, but I think that most of us know who I am talking about. OR like a certain short, brunette, bespectacled and nervous PSU prof--)
2. I found too much of the humor in the beginning of the film uncomfortable because I realized I was laughing because it felt true. In one scene, Tina Fey, who now knows that her t-shaped uterus is not conducive to conceiving and bearing a child, coos and waves to a baby looking at her over its mother's shoulder. Then she leans in and actually makes contact with the baby. I have done this. I have, for my own gratification, talked to, made eyes at, and even touched, some stranger's baby. It's disturbing, I know, but it's like I can't help it. (And apparently I am not the only woman to have done so.) Anyway, I can assure you that this is not a comfortable thing to see reflected back to you in a film.
3. The film makes fun of Whole Foods. And that is funny. Steve Martin is integral to the humor surrounding this storyline, and that makes it even funnier.
4. This was much more of a romantic comedy than either of us expected. I don't know if that is good or bad. Since I generally hate romantic comedies (except Secretary--which I know some of you don't consider a romantic comedy, and If Lucy Fell--shut your damn trap, Marcus), I suppose that is mostly bad.
5. (And this is actually the thing that I most want to say about the experience of this film.) The worst part of Baby Mama, for me, was having to buy my ticket to it. Because I had to say the name of the film. Out loud. And that turned out to be a problem. There are two issues here: first, I think that I was a little embarrassed to be seeing the film in the first place. And I am somewhat concerned about my "cool" in that I DO, on occasion, worry that the book or music that I am buying, or the film that I am renting or seeing somehow makes me not look at all cool. I am guilty of trying to pass some of this consumption off as "ironic". It is because I do actually care what people who work around these particular cultural products think about me. It's lame. I know it is lame. I know that people who work at bookstores aren't all that cool (given the fact that I have worked at bookstores myself, and know lots of other people who have too), but I'm still weirdly worried about it.
This, of course, all goes back to the horrible over-identification I (and many others--c'mon, a lot of you do this too) have with my "things." I know in my head that I am not my CD collection, my library, my DVDs (oh god, I wonder what 8 seasons worth of Charmed really says about me--), my jewelry and barrettes, but part of me does believe that these things are who I am. And, frankly, there are some possessions that do, in fact, seem to stand in for me to the world outside. (I am thinking specifically about my hello kitty traveler's mug, which I am starting to develop a bit of a complex about.) What all of this means is that I am quite susceptible to the judgment of others about these things, particularly to the judgment of those who pedal the crap with which I surround myself.
But maybe that is a bit of a digression. The second reason that buying the ticket pained me was that I had to utter the phrase "baby mama" aloud, to a stranger. I am not linguistically daring. This is part of the reason why I suck at foreign languages. I don't like to sound stupid. And saying a phrase like "baby mama", which has no business coming out of my mouth, ever, for any reason, makes me feel stupid. And, frankly, I can't say it without sounding really uptight and awkward and, well, white. The phrase sticks in my mouth, I feel and sound self-conscious using it, and it ends up sounding that much more ridiculous. It is very much like when I try to say something in French, which also comes out sounding really uptight, awkward, and, well, American.
Ultimately it is probably good for me to have to use language that I am not comfortable with and that I don't own. But I couldn't help thinking that someone was out there laughing at me for doing it--and paying to do it--in this case--