Baby Mama DVD Promotion


Theatrical Release Date: 04/25/2008
DVD Release Date: 09/09/2008
Director: Michael McCullers
Cast: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Romany Malco, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Martin, Maura Tierney

The Film:


Putting Tina Fey and Amy Poehler together on film is almost the cinematic equivalent of peanut butter and jelly (you choose who’s PB and who’s J). Their chemistry is fantastic and if it weren’t for the two of them doing the Weekend Update segment on SNL for a few years, there would rarely have been much reason to watch the show past the first sketch, let alone at all considering the show has gone downhill since the mid-90s.

In “Baby Mama”, Fey, Poehler and an assortment of their comedy friends (including SNL cast members) set their sights on creating a different, female version of “The Odd Couple”. Fey is a successful businesswoman who has put a family life on the back-burner while setting her sights on a successful career. Realizing the window on motherhood is quickly closing, she decides to have a child. Unfortunately, her uterus is uncooperative and Fey must resort to hiring a surrogate to bring her baby into the world.

This is where Poehler steps in and delivers the most endearing white trash performance since Britney Spears’ meltdown with shears. As per usual, Poehler’s wacked and energetic style is very funny and it’s hard to think of many other actresses who could pull off such a role.

There are good supporting performances, most notably by Steve Martin, Dax Shepard and Romany Malco. While Greg Kinnear’s inclusion here doesn’t do anything for me, I’m not surprised that the love story portion of the film is the weakest.

Where the film excels is in Fey and Poehler learning to adjust to one another. They feed off each other’s insanity and it makes for some very good moments. This isn’t the funniest film of the year but it’s sweet and I’ve definitely had worse experiences in theaters this year.

For more on the film itself, you can check out my full review here.

The DVD:



It’s not the type and/or quality of the features that earns the “Baby Mama” DVD a 2 out of 5. It’s that they split them up on to the two sides of the disc. One of my biggest pet peeves is having the full screen and wide screen versions of a film on opposite sides of the DVD. It’s just annoying … include a second disc if you’re going to offer both formats … or just preserve the theatrical aspect ration since so many people now own 16×9 televisions capable of displaying movies the way they were meant to be seen.

Heaping an extra dose of annoyance on that fact is that the special features aren’t on both sides of the disc … they’re not even on one side of the disc … they’re divided onto the two sides. That means if you want to watch the features (like if you reviewing them perhaps), you have to flip the disc over to do so. At least with multi-disc players and a multiple disc DVD release, you can insert the discs all at once and just cycle through it from the comfort of your couch. This attempt at reminding me how much of a sloth I am isn’t appreciated.

Audio/Video:

Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Anamorphic Widescreen 1:85:1 (side A) / Full Frame 1:33:1 (side B).

Subtitles:

English; Spanish; French.

Languages:

English; Spanish; French.

Extra Features:



Commentary with writer/director Michael McCullers, producer Lorne Michaels and cast members Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

—– The mix of people on the commentary does a nice job of ensuring that some of the technical aspects of the production are discussed as well as providing fun and humorous elements for those less interesting in discovering the thought process behind the camera. Fey and Poehler keep things lively and their chemistry with McCullers (also a former writer at SNL) is evident.

From Conception to Deliver: The Making of “Baby Mama:

—– A little featurette including interviews with the cast where they talk about the elements of their characters and the film. Not exactly a must-see but it broadens the perspective so it was nice to include this.

Saturday Night Live: Legacy of Laughter

—– Tina Fey and Amy Poehler talk about working with their old friend and former SNL colleague, Michael McCullers. This feels a little self-serving but considering I wondered about the way things worked behind the scenes since this wasn’t a Tina Fey penned script, I enjoyed it.

Deleted Scenes

—– Every once in a while, a DVD contains deleted scenes that are actually worthy of being included but were cut for time, pacing or help securing a lower rating from the MPAA. This is clearly one of those times. The scenes are funny and I wish there was a way I could insert the scenes back into the feature for subsequent viewing. Sadly, almost every scene was Romany Malco gold and fans of him will at least be partially satiated with this feature.

Alternate Ending

—– Like the deleted scenes, it’s a shame this wasn’t presented in theaters. It includes a larger section of the supporting cast and gives the audience a glimpse of where the characters ended up after the theatrical version faded to black. This is also another section where some of the great comedic work by Romany Malco was left on the cutting room floor.

The Sobering Conclusion:


If you’re a fan of Fey and Poehler, “Baby Mama” is going to deliver what you’re looking for. While it wasn’t written by either of them, the free reign McCullers gave them in regards to character development allowed for their creative abilities to be put to good use.

The DVD annoyed me by splitting features onto multiple sides of the same disc but the features are decent and fun to watch once you’ve enjoyed the feature itself. If you liked this in theaters, I’d recommend picking this up. If you weren’t sure if this would be your cup of tea, maybe rent it before you commit to the purchase.

Now if I could only find out if all of the funny footage of Malco left out of the feature film was a result of the creative process or if there’s more to it … that’s a feature I wish was on the disc (and at this point, it wouldn’t matter which side they put it on).