Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Precious Sperm, Copious Amounts Of Your Wasted Time

Paul Schneider as Tommy and Olivia Munn as Audrey in Jay Chandrasekhar's comedy "The Babymakers". 
Lauren Greenfield/Magnolia Pictures


Omar P.L. Moore/        Follow popcornreel on Twitter FOLLOW                                           
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tip: If you have nothing better to do with your time and must choose between having a root canal and watching Jay Chandrasekhar's comedy -- and I use that term extremely loosely -- "The Babymakers", take the root canal.  Mr. Chandrasekhar's unfunny, pathetic and brainless misadventure (he also directed "Super Troopers" and "Broken Lizard") opens on Friday in the U.S. and Canada.  It's safe to say that I won't see a worse, more pointless film than this one in the entirety of 2012.  And this year has had its fair share of turkeys so far.

The anxiety-ridden Tommy (Paul Schneider) wants to save his marriage to Audrey (Olivia Munn, "Magic Mike").  For some silly reason Audrey, who's been married to Tommy for three (or is it five?) years, decides to exit their marriage when she finds photos of a naked woman in a garbage can in their house.  Tommy, who has a low sperm count, has been trying with Audrey for months to have a baby.  Success has been hard to come by (no pun intended).  Audrey and Tommy apparently don't work -- not unusual in California owing to its high unemployment rate (the film is set in Los Angeles), though there is a shot or two of Tommy in a suit and tie. 

Additionally there's back story about Tommy donating sperm several years before, and when desperation arrives he finds himself part of a group headed by his nutty juvenile friend (Kevin Heffernan) and a wild-eyed Far East Indian thief named Ron Jon (played by Mr. Chandrasekhar).  They all plan to rob a sperm bank to get Tommy's motile sperm in order to make Audrey's wish to conceive a reality.

If you find any or all of the plot of "The Babymakers" as ridiculous and empty-headed as the description above may suggest, then you needn't read any further.  You can guess what I recommend you use Mr. Chandrasekhar's film for.  "The Babymakers" wallows in the muck as a shallow exercise of pent-up male insecurity and obsession with penis size, breast size, sperm, gay men and how many different races the film's characters can stereotype and insult. 

The way to solve problems and crises in "The Babymakers" is to resort to the lowest, most outrageous denominator in lazy humor, when the self-loathing behavior isn't humor at all.  Everything about the "fun" and this film's idea of fun is sad and painful, sometimes excruciatingly so.  When people have fun in this movie it's fun that comes from a pitiful, empty place.  The "fun" here isn't even as bad as the mess that was "The Three Stooges" trailer I accidentally bumped into earlier this year -- it's far, far worse.

When crap like "The Babymakers" hits theaters and infects projectors you only hope that there's enough toilet paper handy to wipe it and any skidmark residue away, and enough electric fans around to diffuse the almighty stench.  Each character showcases ignorance as a badge of honor, and "Babymakers" writers Peter Gaulke and -- in the context of this film at least -- the unfortunately-surnamed Gerry Swallow don't take a moment sell Tommy and Audrey to us in the guise of being married.  Are they pretending to be?  Do married couples talk the way Audrey and Tommy do in movie comedies?  Some complained about the coarse adult banter in the fine 2012 comedy "Friends With Kids" yet Jennifer Westfeldt's film had intelligence, wit and a keen perspective grounded in reality.  "The Babymakers" has a whole lot of nothing, and its ideas of frolic, detour and comedy qualify as cutting room floor bits unfit for some of the worst comedies you've ever known.

"The Babymakers" makes the big mistake of thinking it is funny, and the more foolish one of believing that repeating the same mistakes and mishaps will somehow draw bigger laughs.  Some audiences will find this type of sloppy-seconds comedy funny but I cringed and loathed this weak-hearted excuse for a film.  And when the DVD that "The Babymakers" was projected from onto the big screen repeatedly skipped and froze during the film's final 20 minutes I wasn't frustrated.  I was utterly relieved.

Also with: Nat Faxon (a co-screenwriter of "The Descendants"), Wood Harris, Aisha Tyler, Desi Lydic, Helena Mattsson, Constance Zimmer, Collette Wolfe.

"The Babymakers" is rated R by the Motion Picture Association Of America for crude and sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use.  The film's running time is one hour and 38 minutes. 

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