Home | Review Archive | The Bucket 'Blog | Screening Log | Film Festival Coverage | Contact Danny


  Baby Mama

Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Steve Martin

Directed by: Michael McCullers

Produced by: Lorne Michaels, John Goldwyn

Written by: Michael McCullers
Distributor: Universal Pictures


The following is an excerpt from the meeting in which writer/director Michael McCullers pitched his new film, Baby Mama, to two Universal Studios executives:

Executive A: How are you, Michael? We’re so glad to see your face around these parts given the success of Goldmember and Undercover Brother. What took you so long to come back to us?

Michael McCullers: Well, I really wanted to explore my comedic ideas – you know, give birth to a whole new type of comedy that will leave audiences rolling but touch their hearts at the same time.

Executive B: Good, good – I’ve seen it before, but how about you tell us what you’ve come up with.

MM: Well, first, I must make a request of you two before I go any further. As much as I like writing, what I really want to do is direct!

EA: What are you saying?

MM: I will only make this picture for Universal if you guys let me direct it! I’ve been writing shit for you guys for years and it’s about time I helm my own film.

EA: Fine, fine – we’ll talk about that later. If this script is a winner, then we’ll consider it.

EB: So give us the pitch, Michael.

MM: So there’s this woman. And she’s having a kinda-sorta midlife crisis, but the film pins her in a very contemporary situation: she can’t have a baby, but she desperately wants one.

EA: And why can’t she have a baby, Michael?

MM: Well, for one, she’s so pinned down to her job, which involves working for this one character who’s like… The Zen Boss, constantly involved in gimmicky commercial ideas of Tai-Chi and Eastern Philosophy and the like, but he’s zany enough that Steve Martin could play him.

EB: Ooh, Steve Martin – we like that.

MM: Yeah, so this woman is so pinned down to her job that she just can’t find the right guy to marry because she doesn’t have enough time to devote to a solid relationship. But she still wants a kid. So she does all the in-vitro-fertilization and stuff, but none of it works. She’s pretty desperate on the whole.

EA: So where are you going with this, Michael?

MM: I’ll tell you where I’m going. She’s working one day, scouting new locations to put one of the health-food stores that her company runs, and she meets this guy who owns a juice shop in the area.

EB: A juice stop?

MM: Yeah, of course. Kinda fruity – ahah, I just made a pun that I should include in the script! – but they’re all the rage with the yuppie crowd these days.

EA: Fine, but we may have to change it to a Starbucks or something.

MM: I thought of that, but I’ve already locked Greg Kinnear in to play the role and his character in last year’s Feast of Love worked at a coffee shop. I don’t want this character to seem too similar…

EB: But nobody saw Feast of Love! They won’t know the difference.

MM: Fine – I’ll consider making it a Starbucks, but I think that might really cramp my style. Anyway, where was I? Oh, so our protagonist meets this guy when she walks into his shop. And they fall in love. And at the end of the movie, he’ll end up impregnating her. Both they and their baby live happily ever after!

EA: Uh, Michael, where’s the comedy in that story? Sounds more like The Bridges of Madison County than a light-hearted romp to me!

MM: Well, I was thinking that we would just use … well… slice-of-life comedy. Pretty underwhelming, but totally right for the material when you think about it. Even more so when you consider who I want for the lead role!

EB: Who, Meryl Streep?

MM: Hell no. Tina Fey! So witty, so understated, such a middle-aged-woman MAGNET!

EA: Fine. Ms. Fey surely has talent. But who can we market this movie to other than middle-aged women? … They aren’t a viable enough demographic to invest $30 million of our money in a movie targeted at them.

EB: You may want to consider tapping into the two biggest groups of movie-goers: blacks and teenagers.

MM: Wait, you’re saying more black people go to the movies than those of other races? How the hell is that?

EB: Just look at the Tyler Perry films. They’re comedies – just like your movie supposedly is – and they do incredibly well. See, black people love movies!

MM: Eeerrrmm…

EA: I got it! We’ll call the movie Baby Mama because those black communities have a lot of baby mamas!

EB: Isn’t that a bit racist?

EA: You’re the one who suggested selective marketing to black people!

EB: Fine, Baby Mama. But who’s the baby mama in the movie? Tina Fey’s character can’t be a baby mama; that defeats the purpose of the plot that Michael here has worked so hard on.

EA: Ooh! Ooh! We’ll have Tina Fey’s best friend from “Saturday Night Live”, Amy Poehler, play a white-trash baby mama Fey hires to be her surrogate mother when she hits rock bottom and thinks she’ll never be able to have a kid!

EB: I like it – that will also appeal to poor white folk in Kentucky and the like. It’s genius! Not to mention, we can increase that hick-appeal by throwing in a real trashy boyfriend that the Poehler character will have! I say we get Dax Shepard to play him!

EA: Oooh, I like the way you’re thinking, Executive B!

EB: But what will happen to the Greg Kinnear character? The Poehler character will somehow have to end up miscarrying the surrogate child so in the end Fey can have Kinnear’s baby after all!

EA: Hmm. Miscarriage sounds too bleak. We’ll let Michael decide how to work all of it together. Give him some more creative freedom to write what he wants, you know? Not that we haven’t let him come up with the whole movie already or anything…

EB: So, Michael, are we good to go with this?

MM: Eeerrrr…

EA: You can direct it if you want!

MM: Fine. Sure. Done.

EA: Baby Mama has been given the green-light. Now get out of our office and write the freakin’ script!

MM: I won’t let you down, sir!

EB: Did you not hear my partner? Be on your way! Get out and start pecking at a keyboard so we can get this puppy on the market by April 2008! NOW!

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 4.17.2008

Screened on: 3.3.2008 at the AMC Burbank 16 in Burbank, CA.


Baby Mama is rated PG-13 and runs 96 minutes.

Back to Home