J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Babymakers: Broken Lizard in a Family Way

Three years of marriage have evidently taken a toll on Tommy Macklin.  He paid for his wife’s wedding ring by making “deposits” at the sperm bank, but now that they are trying to get pregnant, his stuff has lost its get-up-and-go.  Obviously, the wisest course of action would be to break-in and steal the last of his vintage brew.  That is indeed the plan in Jay Chandrasekhar’s The Babymakers (trailer here), which opens this Friday in New York.

Macklin might strike viewers as more of an Apatowesque man-boy than good potential father stock, but his wife Audrey Macklin is ready to give it a shot anyway.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t seem to take.  Given his secret moonlighting in the past, Macklin is convinced it cannot possibly be him.  However, when he finally agrees to a check-up he learns his mojo has left him.  Tracking down his potent samples, Macklin learns there is only one test tube left—and that is slated to be shipped out in a manner of days.

Not to worry, Macklin’s doofus-buddies have a plan.  They will hire the sketchy Ron Jon, allegedly a former second story man for the Mumbai mafia, to mastermind their heist.  Complications arise.

Directed by comedy troupe co-founder Chandrasekhar (who also appears as Ron Jon), Babymakers is sort of, but not really a Broken Lizard film, featuring co-member Kevin Heffernan and several regulars from their previous films, including Nat Faxon (who is fusion drummer Stave Gadd’s son-in-law, according to imdb).  It is certainly similar in tone to The Slammin’ Salmon, combining some tasteless gags with a soft-hearted affection for their characters.

Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn look the part as the Macklins and also handle their sexually charged banter fairly nicely.  Heffernan’s big lug Wade is certainly game for all manner of physical comedy, while in a Cosmo Kramer-ish turn, Chandrasekhar goes all in, heedless of political correctness or good judgment.

Frankly, Babymaker’s naughty humor is amusing, but it is hard to be shocked by supposedly outrageous discussions of this or that act anymore.  The result is a diverting but slight comedy, best suited for drunken giggles after a long night out.  Recommended for those who prefer their comedy broad and blue, The Babymakers opens this Friday (8/3) in New York at the AMC Village 7.

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